Integrated Science III (NSCI 3003/7003)

Fall '09 Houghton

Location: Aderhold Learning Center Rm 107 (Tuesday 5:30 pm - 8: 50pm)
Credit Hours: 4 Cr hrs

Lecturer: John Houghton
Office/Lab: 416 Science Annex / 510 Natural Science Centre

Tel: (404) 413-5390

Office hours: by appointment only....i.e. call first. 

Text:  "Exploring the Way Life Works: The Science of Biology"
by Mahlon Hoagland, Bert Dodson, and Judith Hauck, c. 2001, Jones and Bartlett, Pubs., ISBN #076371688X

Welcome: Welcome to NSCI 3003/7003, the third semester of the NSCI integrated science series.  The objective of this course is to provide you with biological information and "hands-on" experiences that give you a feel for the many ways that biological concepts impact your life.

Note: Many of the images and slides that are presented in this course are eithermodified from Dr. Baumstark's previous 7003 lectures (with permission) or taken from scanned images or downloaded images from the text or related internet sources. Moreover, MPEG downloads and movie links areoften derived from PBS TV (or other sites that will be referenced), and are to be used for educational purposes only.

Grading Policy: Grades will be divided among the various examinations as defined on the class web-site.                         

Makeup exams: Please make every effort to take the test on the scheduled date. A makeup exam should be taken only under very special circumstances. Please note that any makeup exam may be graded differently, as (by definition) it cannot be incorporated into a "class curve". 

Ethical considerations: Unless otherwise stated, all examination answers that are submitted for evaluation are considered to be the sole property and ideas of each individual student. Any student(s) caught copying or cheating will automatically receive zero credit for that particular submission, and possibly be subject to further disciplinary action.  see Georgia University Student Handbook


Grades will be assigned as follows:

                        Exams* (60%)
                                                            Exam I                                    20%
                                                            Exam II                                   20%
                                                            Final (Dec 11, 5 pm)            20%
                        In-class assignments (25%)           

                                                            Science Project                    10%
                                                            Science Lesson Plan          10%
                                                            “Elvis and You”                         5%

                        In class Laboratory activities (15%)

*Note:  students enrolled in NSCI 3003 will be graded on a different curve than those enrolled in NSCI 7003.             

In-class assignments (a continuation of Dr. Baustark's format) include:

Science Project (10%)
Design and conduct a scientific investigation on a research question of your choice. This project will be similar to a science fair project with a presentation at the end of the semester in front of the class and instructors. Complete instructions on the timeline for your project will be given in class. Many middle schools are involved in the Science Fairs of this state, and it will be advantageous for you as a teacher to know what it is like to design and implement a project of your own before you facilitate middle schoolers in their projects. Specific components of this project are due on dates specified in class. Instructors will be available for advice and assistance on research according to the topic of interest. All research projects must be approved by the faculty. This is a 9-week experience and students are expected to complete all work on the project outside of class.

Science Lesson Plan (10%)
Choose a topic in biology that interests you and design a hands-on science activity that would help students understand the concepts underlying the topic and the relevance of the topic to their own lives.  Prepare a lesson plan that could be used by other teachers to produce this activity.  Present the activity to the class as you would to a middle school classroom.  Your activity may be adapted (but not copied!) from an activity previously designed by someone else, but if so, you must clearly credit the source.

Elvis and You (5%)
Elvis Presley’s official date of death is listed as August 16, 1977 (of course, there are many individuals who believe he is still alive).  Unbeknownst to most of his followers, an exceedingly sensitive scientific instrument* set up at his bedside in Graceland happened to record his last breath, and showed that one of the carbon atoms in the dinner steak he had eaten on July 21 was expelled just as he died.  By coincidence, this instrument has just revealed that the same carbon atom is currently residing in a protein within the connective tissues of your vocal chords.

Suggest how this carbon atom might have traveled from Elvis to you.  Include in your analysis a discussion of the places it might have gone to, as well as the molecules and metabolic pathways it might have encountered on its way. 

All students:   feel free to be creative and imaginative.  As long as you base your journey on factual information, you may use fiction, poetry, rap, drama, or any other literary medium you think is appropriate.  Just be sure to craft your statements in a way that is logically organized and scientifically accurate.

*note: such an instrument has not yet been designed, but for the purposes of this activity, you can assume that it has.

This information is given as a guide to the student attending the Per2002 lectures as a means to review some of the information. It is not meant to replace the lecture. No emphasis as to what will be required of the student is given in this text, indeed information that is given in the these transcripts may make little sense if the student has not first attended the relevant lecture.