ISCI 2001 Course Objectives


Teaching Objectives

At the completion of this course, the student should be able to do the following:

 I.  Introduction to Scientific Methods and Applications

A.  Demonstrate an understanding of the scientific method and the process of scientific inquiry  (will be threaded throughout course)
Demonstrate an understanding of laboratory safety (will be threaded throughout course)
C.  Demonstrate an understanding of data collection (observation, measurement, recording, etc.), and the interpretation of data  (will be threaded throughout course)
D.  Communicate scientific ideas and activities clearly (will be threaded throughout course)
E.  Question scientific claims and arguments effectively (will be threaded throughout course)
F.  Identify patterns of change using records, tables, or graphs of measurements (will be threaded throughout course)

 II.  Life Science

 A.  Characteristics of Life

  1. Distinguish living organisms from nonliving materials by observable physical attributes (appearance, size, motion, etc.); recognize that fungi are living organisms
  2. Demonstrate the ability to explain characteristics associated with all living things:  cells, growth, reproduction, heredity, response to stimuli, evolutionary adaptation, energy metabolism, exchange of materials with the environment, homeostasis
  3. Compare and contrast the characteristics (including parts) and basic needs of plants and animals.
  4. Identify factors that affect the survival or extinction of organisms, such as adaptation, variation of behaviors (hibernation) and external features (camouflage and protection); identify factors that may have led to extinctions of some organisms.

 B.  Biodiversity/Heredity

  1. Recognize similarities and differences between organisms (compare and contrast a plant, an animal, and a bacterial cell; recognize similarities and differences between parent and offspring)
  2. Group living organisms based on characteristics, and demonstrate an understanding of how and why scientists use classification
  3. Demonstrate the ability to explain life cycles of various organisms
  4. Demonstrate the role of DNA in heredity
  5. Demonstrate the ability to explain mechanisms for transmission of traits between generations
  6. Distinguish between inherited traits and learned behaviors

  C. Energy Flow

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the intricacy and concepts of food webs
  2. Explain the process and significance of photosynthesis
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of the need for oxygen and organic carbon
  4. Explain the process and significance of cellular respiration

 D. Interdependence of Life/Ecology

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of interdependence of community members; identify roles of producers, consumers, and decomposers
  2. Distinguish between autotrophic and heterotrophic organisms
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of symbiotic relationships, i.e. mutualism, commensalisms, and parasitism; relate how microorganisms benefit or harm larger organisms
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of predator/prey relationships, strategies, and adaptive significance
  5. Recognize characteristics of different populations
  6. Demonstrate an understanding of basic population dynamic structure
  7. Demonstrate an understanding of the importance of birth and death rates
  8. Demonstrate an understanding of the habitats of different organisms (aquatic, terrestrial, artificial), and the dependence of organisms on their habitat; differentiate between habitats of Georgia and the organisms that live there
  9. Demonstrate an understanding of the components and limiting factors of a habitat, a niche, and carrying capacity
  10. Demonstrate an understanding of the difference between a macro- and a microhabitat
  11. Demonstrate an understanding of the effect of pollution and humans on the environment; identify ways to protect the environment

E. Cells

  1. Recognize the cell as the fundamental unit of life
  2. Demonstrate a knowledge of the diversity of unicellular organisms (including eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells)
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of the origins of multicellularity
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of the levels of biological organization
  5. Demonstrate an understanding of the integrated functions of body systems
  6. Observe, identify, diagram, and label different cell components and explain their structure and functions (plant cells, animal    cells, single-celled organisms, multicellular organisms)
  7. Explain the integration of cellular components

III.  Earth Science

A. Earth SystemsRecognize the importance of science and technology in our everyday lives (should be threaded throughout Earth Science topics)

  • Recognize Earth materials (rocks,  B.  Exosphere (Astronomy)

    1. Demonstrate an understanding of the basic attributes of stars, planets, Moon, Sun, and the Solar System;  demonstrate the relative size and order of planets in the Solar System
    2. Describe and model changes and patterns in the day and night sky (including day/night transitions; star patterns; movement of stars, planets, Sun and Moon; phases of the moon), and changing length of day and night as related to changing seasons
    3. Demonstrate an understanding of the use of technology to observe distant objects in the sky

     C.  Lithosphere (Geology)

    1. Differentiate between minerals and rocks; differentiate between different types of minerals and between different types of rocks on the basis of their physical properties; and demonstrate a basic understanding of the rock cycle
    2. Recognize and describe the basic properties and components of soil  (texture, particle size, color); compare and contrast different types of soil (clay, loam or potting soil, sand, etc.) including their ability to support life and capacity to absorb water
    3. D Demonstrate an understanding of fossils as evidence of organisms that lived long ago, and processes of fossilization; compare and contrast fossils with organisms that are living today; recognize fossils of Georgia; explain how fossil fuels were formed and why they need to be conserved
    4. Recognize and describe the different geologic processes that shape the Earth, including how water and wind change rocks and soils over time; identify surface features caused by constructive and destructive processes (deposition, faults earthquakes, volcanoes, weathering, erosion); categorize Georgia landforms formed by constructive and/or destructive processes
    5. Demonstrate an understanding of the role of technology and human intervention in the control of constructive and destructive processes (seismological studies, flood control, beach reclamation, etc.)

     D.  Hydrosphere and Atmosphere (Oceanography and Meteorology)

    1. Demonstrate a basic understanding of the water cycle, and states of water (solid, liquid, gas)
    2. Analyze weather charts/maps, and observe, measure, and communicate weather data to predict weather events and infer patterns and seasonal changes
    3. Describe changes in weather and how they relate to the water cycle (freezing, melting, precipitation, evaporation, etc.) and position of the Earth and Sun
    4. Understand and describe how weathering forms soil and how weather and erosion change the Earth’s surface

     E.  Biosphere

    1. Recognize and describe different biomes and how they are affected by weather, plant and animal activity, and geologic processes
    2. Observe and record changes in a specific area using maps, and infer causes of the changes (weather, plants, animals, and/or people, etc.)

    Thanks to Dr. Pamela Gore of Georgia Perimeter College for these objectives