Instructor: Dr. Dennis L. Merat
Office Hours: Room S-302B
a.m. - 8:50 a.m.
10:00 a.m. - 10:50 a.m.
3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
W 8:00 a.m. - 8:50
10:00 a.m. - 10:50 a.m.
R 8:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
F 8:00 a.m.
- 8:50 a.m.
10:00 a.m. - 10:50 a.m.
Phone Numbers: 321-4201 (Office)
362-3682 (Home) 8 p.m. - 10 p.m.
E – mail: email@example.com
Course Description: This course provides an introduction to physics, chemistry, and earth and space science. The majority of course topics will be chosen from the areas environmental chemistry, meteorology, geology, and astronomy and will include elements of the philosophy of science. The course is designed to cover many of the general/physical science knowledge and skill areas required for secondary school science teaching.
Prerequisite or Corequisite: Math 105 or higher . The student should be familiar with basic algebra techniques such as solving for unknown variables.
Corequisite: NSCI 118L
Required Texts and Materials for NSCI 118:
1. Conceptual Physical Science, Third
Edition, by Paul G. Hewitt,
John Suchocki, and Leslie A. Hewitt; Pearson Addison Wesley, 2004.
2. Scientific Calculator
General Course Goals: The course is designed to:
1) Introduce students to the scientific
method and to the basic principles
of physics, chemistry, meteorology, geology, and astronomy;
2) Familiarize students with the practical
3) Enable students to understand the relationship
scientific principles and their daily lives.
Attendance: Regular class attendance is expected.
Assignments: You are expected to read textbook chapters listed on the syllabus prior to the introduction of the topics related to that chapter in class. You are responsible for learning all material that is either presented or assigned during class lecture/demonstrations. In addition, you will be responsible for assigned questions, essays, problems, and project(s).
4 hour tests @
100 points each
Homework 60 points
Term Project/Paper 100 points
Final Examination 100 points
Average (%) Letter Grade
90 -- 100
80 -- 89 B
65 -- 79 C
54 -- 64 D
53 or below F
The student’s average for this course is calculated
by dividing the total points earned by 660, then multiplying by 100.
If your scores are within these ranges,
you are guaranteed the appropriate letter grade for the range within which your scores fall.
For problems involving numeric calculations,
ALL WORK, except simple arithmetic, must be shown to ensure credit.
Partial credit will be given for work that
If your calculator is programmable and/or has
a constant memory, you must be prepared to remove the battery at any time
during the examination.
Calculators may not be shared. Calculators must be removed from their case before the examination begins.
Both the hour and final examinations will be taken in-class and will be closed book.
If the percentage of questions answered correctly
on the final examination is higher than the grade on the lowest of the
hour tests, the percentage of correct
answers score on the final examination will replace the lowest score on the hour tests.
Hour tests will be given at the beginning of class on the following dates:
A comprehensive final examination will be given during the final examination
period. The date and time will be announced later in the semester.
Make-up Policy: Makeup tests will be given only under the
most extenuating circumstances, such as serious illness or death in the
family. Make-up tests may be more difficult than the in-class test.
Graded Homework: There will be three 20 point graded homework
assignments; these will be collected on the assigned due dates. Late
assignments will be accepted only under the most extenuating circumstances
and may receive lower grades.
Term Project/Paper: A major project/paper will be required. Guidelines for the project are described at the end of the syllabus.
Extra Credit: 10 extra credit points may be earned by serving as a judge for the 2004 Shelby County Science and Engineering Fair. Judging day will be March 23, 2004.
Additional Materials For NSCI 118L:
Physical Science Laboratory Manual to Accompany Krauskopf-Beiser: The
Physical Universe, Sixth Edition, by Ronald G. Samec et al.; McGraw-Hill,
Inc., New York, 1991.
Natural Science 118 -- Tentative Lecture Topics
Note: The sequence of topics to be covered this semester is listed below. Reading assignments are given in parentheses and refer to the textbook. Additional topics may be presented and assigned in lecture.
Class will meet every MWF at 9:00 a.m. with the exception of the following
scheduled holidays: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day January
Spring Break March 8-12
Easter Holiday April 10
1. Scientific Method (Prologue: Pages 1-9)
2. Measurement and Density, Buoyancy, Archimedes’ Principle, and
Flotation (Sections 5.1, 5.3, 5.4, & 5.5)
3. Motion; Newton’s Laws of Motion (Chapters 1 and 2)
4. Energy/Conservation of Energy (Sections 3.4, 3.6, and 3.8)
5. Heat and heat transfer (Chapter 6: pages 135-139; Chapter 7: pages
6. Transverse and Longitudinal Waves (Sections 10.1 – 10.4;
Sections 11.1 & 11.4 ;
Sections 12.1 & 12.2 )
7. Structure of the atom (Sections 13.1 through 13.5)
8. Elements, compounds, and mixtures (Chapter 15)
9. The Periodic Table (Sections 16.1 – 16.3)
10. Introduction to Environmental Chemistry (Sections 20.1 through 20.5)
11. Types and characteristics of rocks and minerals (Sections 22.1 & 22.2)
12. Igneous rocks (Section 22.4)
13. Sedimentary rocks (Section 22.5)
14. Metamorphic Rocks (Section 22.6)
15. The rock cycle (Section 22.7)
16. Structure of the earth and earthquakes (Sections 23.1 and 23.2)
17. The Richter Scale and techniques for locating the epicenter
of an earthquake (see Tables 23.1 and 23.2 on page 579)
18. Use of S and P waves to study the characteristics of the earth’s
19. Introduction to Plate tectonic theory (Section 23.4)
20. Types of faults (Section 23.4)
21. Formation of divergent and convergent boundaries (Pages 580-582)
22. The hydrologic cycle (Section 24.1)
23. Ground and surface water (Section 24.2)
24. Water quality and pollution (Section 24.4)
25. The oceans (Section 24.7)
26. Major components of and layers of the atmosphere (Sections 26.1
27. Solar energy and the Greenhouse Effect; Global Warming
28. The Seasons and related topics (Section 26.3)
29. Wind flow patterns including low pressure and high pressure systems,
the Coriolis Effect, and Jet Streams (Sections 26.5 and 26.6)
30. Absolute and relative humidity, dew point, dew, and frost
31. Cloud groups including major characteristics and mechanisms of
formation (Section 27.3)
32. Air masses and their seasonal influence on the weather in
America (Section 27.4)
33. Atmospheric lifting mechanisms: Convectional, Orographic, and
Frontal; warm fronts and cold fronts (pages 670 – 673)
34. Discussion of the characteristics and mechanism of formation of
major types of precipitation: rain, sleet, freezing rain, and hail
35. Mid-Latitude Cyclone (page 673)
36. How do thunderstorms form? (page 674)
37. Tornadoes and the Fujita scale (pages 674-675)
39. Hurricanes and the Saffir-Simpson Scale (page 675)
40. Climate and global climate patterns
41. The Solar System (Chapter 28)
42. Stars including our Sun (pages 706-714)
43. Galaxies (Section 29.5)
Guidelines For Term Project/Paper
You should choose a science topic that is in some way related to either your outside interests or to your prospective career choice.
The length of the paper should be 3-5 typed pages.
The general format of the paper should include:
Summary and Conclusions
The paper must include at least 3 references obtained from the Internet.
You must e-mail the topic of your paper by March 5.
You must e-mail a summary of the paper by April 21.
The final due date for the paper is April 21.