PHS 112 - Interactions with the Natural World
Explore the relationships between living organisms and their physical environment in this activity-based course. Study Earth’s atmosphere and seasons and explore the resulting adaptations of living things, for example through photosynthesis and respiration. Investigate rocks and minerals as the building blocks of the solid Earth and cells as the basic unit of life. Biologic and earth science concepts are integrated to show the prehistoric and modern interactions among Earth’s atmosphere, its rocks and minerals and its life. Students are expected to become personally involved with in-class and at-home activities and projects. Learning is accomplished by experimentation and discussion within cooperative groups; the laboratory becomes the classroom. Appropriate for Elementary Education and Early Childhood majors.
3 Class Hours; 3 Laboratory Hours
Learning Outcomes of the Course:
Upon successful completion of this course the student will be able to:
1. Distinguish among the following: theory, hypothesis, inference, observation.
2. Formulate hypotheses about phenomena under discussion; design and perform simple experiments to test the hypothesis; analyze and interpret data from the experiment to support or refute the hypothesis.
3. Describe the components and organization of our solar system and understand the scale of planetary distances and sizes in our solar system.
4. Describe some major conditions necessary to develop and sustain life on an astronomical body.
5. Plot a scale diagram of Earth’s geologic history and recognize the interdependence of geologic, meteorologic and biologic events along this time line.
6. Describe and demonstrate the changes in daylight during a year and explain the reasons for these changes; describe adaptations of organisms to daylight and darkness and to seasons.
7. Describe the temperature and pressure characteristics of Earth’s atmosphere and list its component gases and their major functions.
8. Distinguish between the processes of photosynthesis and respiration and describe simple experiments which can demonstrate each process.
9. Describe how heat is transferred within and to the atmosphere and to Earth’s surface; describe major factors which affect the heating of Earth’s surface.
10. Describe and perform the main physical tests and observations necessary to identify rocks and minerals.
11. Distinguish between plant and animal cells and describe the main components of both.
12. Discuss the evolution of Earth in terms of biologic change and in terms of plate tectonics.
13. Complete projects to investigate characteristics of plants and animals.