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Survey of Science

Lucille Tamm
Sanford Brown College


This course uses the vast field of science to illustrate the scientific method. It begins with the scientific method, the basic laws of motion and thermodynamics. We then move on to how these concepts apply to chemistry, astronomy, Earth sciences, biology, and other field as the class interests dictate.

Course Size:
Less than 15

Course Format:
Small-group seminar

Course Context:

This is a survey course for students in the two year medical assistant program, the criminal justice program and the business program. Students working for an associate or bachelors degree are required to take this course.

Course Goals:

  • Students will be able to recognize the scientific method in their own thinking processes.
  • They will have an appreciation of what science is and is not.
  • They will be able to differentiate between problems that can benefit from using the scientific method and others that cannot be addressed by science.
  • They will understand that the scientific method is one and only one way human beings know about themselves and the world around them.

Course Features:

Teaching the Process of Science

In the first lessons, we talk about the scientific method in detail and examine the various parts of the method as they apply to the discovery of the laws of motion and thermodynamics. As we progress through the course I allow the students to practice scientific thinking by making hypotheses, observations and experiments within the other disciplines.


My grading is largely based on the participation in the course. I require that they take notes on the chapters in the book, I use multiple choice quizzes that include common misconceptions about science, and scientific ideas among the incorrect answers. I also require attendance and participation in the class activities. I also strongly encourage them to imitate the early astronomers and try to observe the moon daily.


Teaching Materials:

References and Notes: