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Lloyd Sealy Library
John Jay College of Criminal Justice


OER Course Conversion Projects


            SCI 110: Origins

 From the Big Bang to Life on Earth


                                   OER for SCI 110


Welcome to SCI 110: Origins: From the Big Bang to Life on Earth. This is a "zero-cost textbook course" and will not require you to purchase a textbook. All of the readings will be available at this website or on Blackboard.

This three-credit course is an overview of some of the most significant scientific discoveries affecting our understanding of the natural world, and the data and evidence that support these ideas.  This spectrum of understanding ranges from how we have come to understand the age of our universe-to how we have come to understand the molecular basis of all living things.  Students will examine the scientific processes and evidence behind phenomena and will be challenged to think critically about important discoveries in science.

Learning Outcomes

At the completion of this course, students will:

1. Identify and apply the fundamental concepts and methods of a life or physical science.

  • Students will identify logical and illogical statements, discuss “fact” and reasoning, explain the basic steps of problem solving, and solve logic puzzles.
  • Interact with other students by writing about their conceptual understandings and discussions about ideas using MS Word document.
  • Recognize science as a creative process by reading and discussing the historical perspective of scientific discovery and participate in laboratory exercises that emphasize problem solving.
  • Describe basic concepts in the physical and/or biological sciences toward interpreting the nature of scientific discoveries including the evidence for: the Big Bang Theory, the Theory of Plate Tectonics, the Theory of Evolution
  • Correctly use basic terminology in chemistry, biology and geology. Students actively test their own knowledge and understanding by journal writing or by responding to clicker questions during lecture.

2. Apply the scientific method to explore natural phenomena, including hypothesis development, observation, experimentation, measurement, data analysis, and data presentation.

  • Students will differentiate between data analysis and interpretation by actively participating in class projects which require students to collect, analyze and interpret both self-collected data and professionally collected data.
  • Will investigate the basic morphology of organisms and make comparisons between organisms.

3. Use the tools of a scientific discipline to carry out collaborative laboratory investigations.

  • Students will practice the skills of collaborative learning in a laboratory environment by working in groups to fulfill laboratory exercises, which will be collecting, analyzing and interpreting data. They will do this by allocating specific responsibility to each lab member, discussing their procedure, and finalizing their results. Ultimately, students are responsible for completing their own lab report. Students will assess themselves on how responsible they are for their own work as well as how well the whole group works together. (See Rubric)
  • Appreciate the character of observation and reasoning with data and the relationships between the data and what is to be studied.
  • Quantify uncertainty and error in measurements by calculating percent error.
  • Outline the basic modes of measurement by participating in laboratory exercises that require data analysis and interpretation.
  • Identify basic laboratory equipment and practice methods of experimentation & investigation.

4. Gather, analyze, and interpret data and present it in an effective written laboratory or fieldwork report.

  • Students will practically apply observation and/or measurement in a larger scientific context and thereby assess the reasonableness of the data they collect.
  • Students will research a natural science phenomenon under the theme of “The Process of Science” by inquiring about a phenomenon and investigating how scientists came to understand the phenomenon based on evidence. Primary and secondary documents are required.

5. Identify and apply research ethics and unbiased assessment in gathering and reporting scientific data.

  • Students will discriminate between scientific and non-scientific resources by describing the basic components of a scientific investigation, and contrast this with non-scientific statements.
  • Judge the merit of scientific vs. pseudo-scientific conclusions.