Physical Science 101 Syllabus Spring 2018



Instructor:  Thomas Gavin                                        E-Mail:


Lecture/Lab (BYKH 109):   T & Th                        6:00 pm-8:50 pm


Office Hours(BYKH 109):   Th                                5:15 pm-6:00 pm


Web Site: All course materials can be found on the web site.


E-Mail Instructions:  Subject must read, “PHYSCI 101”.  Emails not so identified may have a delay before being read or deleted without being read.


Required Materials: 

·         Standard Size Quadrille Composition Book (with graph paper pages)

·         Textbooks:

1)      An Introduction to Physical Science” 14th Ed. by Shipman

2)      Real World Science: Physics and Chemistry Applications” by Ciardi


Student Learning Outcome: 

Lecture:           Analyze the general principles and methods of scientific inquiry while investigating fundamental concepts of both physics and chemistry.

Lab:                 Evaluate physics and chemistry concepts presented in lecture by collecting and analyzing student acquired data and utilizing the scientific method.


About the Course:  We will explore the sciences of physics and chemistry, and the role these sciences play in everyday life on Earth; some applications in astronomy may also be included.  In class discussions and exercises will be based on expected preparatory reading of text and online lecture notes.


The objectives of this course are for you to:


1.      Examine the physical properties that are present in your daily life

2.      Recall and apply the basic concepts of chemistry and physics

3.      Develop scientific thinking and problem solving skills

4.      Practice the scientific method in a laboratory setting



Tests:  Each test will consist primarily of multiple-choice questions, with some written responses and some word problems.  The lowest scored test will be dropped from Canvas.  Any missed tests will receive a zero.  No make-up tests will be given for any reason.


Homework:  No late work will be accepted.  The assignments will be given out in class and are available on the class web site


Laboratory Student Learning Outcome:  Evaluate physics and chemistry concepts presented in lecture by collecting and analyzing student acquired data utilizing the scientific method.


Laboratory:  You will be working in groups and those groups will be randomly changed throughout the semester.  Each person is expected to contribute to the process of gathering supplies, following procedures, discussing questions, and cleaning up the lab. You are expected to collaborate with everyone in your group.  Each lab activity is worth 10 points.


Composition Book

·         Lab activities must be completed in the composition book during lab in the order they occurred.

·         General questions may be completed at home if you are not able to complete them in the time allotted.

·         All data, calculations, and general questions should be well labeled.

·         Work done during lab time must be stamped.

·         Charts and graphs must be completely adhered to a page. (use a glue stick)

·         No unsecured or folded pages are allowed.

·         Lab information must be neat and easy to follow.

·         A calculation should begin with an equation and all work should be shown.

·         Composition books must be regularly maintained and will be checked on test days (counts for completion).


The lab class may begin earlier than scheduled on some days if lecture ends early.

You are allowed to miss 4 “titled” lab activities.  If you are present for all days of lab then these 4 lab activities will serve as extra credit and can boost your total lab percentage. 


Laboratory Safety:  You will be held accountable for all laboratory safety guidelines.  The guidelines are found on the class website



Science Project:  Each student (or pair of students) is required to choose and present a science project related to the topics studied in this course.  The science project must include an experiment and demonstrate the scientific method.  Project ideas must be submitted in writing and pre-approved.  You are expected to exercise caution and utilize safety protocols as you would in lab.  Points will be deducted from your score if you are late or absent for any presentations; attendance to all presentations is required.  Time allotment is 3-5 minutes.  20 Points possible. This will count as a test.


Science Project Grading Rubric



10 Points

·         Abstract (question to be answered)

·         Introduction (complete and accurate description of physics or chemistry involved in your experiment, including explanation of relevant terminology)

·         Data & Analysis

·         Scientific Conclusion



5 Points

·         Presentation of experiment & results

·         Verbal description of the physics or chemistry involved in your experiment, including explanation of relevant terminology

·         Good presentation techniques are used


5 Points

·         Experiment is performed by student, and shows use of scientific method to test a hypothesis or question


Questions:  Please ask questions!  All relevant questions are welcome, so please interrupt me whenever you have one. 


Classroom Behavior:  The basic rule for behavior in the classroom and in the laboratory is to be respectful to your classmates and instructor at all times.  Talking with classmates while your instructor is speaking, sleeping, texting, and rude comments, are a few examples of behavior that is not respectful of others and will result in your immediate removal from the class.  Any student removed from class will be reported to COC administrators and will not be allowed to return until cleared by Student Services.


Message:  Plan to work hard and be actively engaged all semester; that means from day one.  Material builds upon each concept learned.  If you wait until mid-semester to start focusing on this course, you may find yourself very lost, and there will be no last minute extra credit work available.


Management of Stress and Mental Health: Often the pressure on our students is very strong, involving academic commitments, relationships, outside jobs and family pressure to name a few. The staff and faculty of College of the Canyons are here to see you succeed academically and care about your emotional and physical health. You can learn more about the broad range of confidential student services, including counseling and mental health services available on campus by visiting the Student Health & Wellness Center in the Student Services Building (across from the bookstore) or by clicking on . The phone number is 661-362-3259. At the Canyon Country Campus the Health Center is in 1B adjacent to Administration, Admissions and Records.

Also, the National Suicide Hotline number is 1-800-273- 8255(TALK). All students at COC are encouraged to enter that phone number in their cells. You can it call when you, or someone you know, is having thoughts of suicide or is in severe distress.



            Tests                              51%  (17% each)          A       90-100%

          Laboratory                    20%                               B       80-89%

          Homework                    12%                               C       70-79%

          Science Project              17%                               D       60-69%

                                                                                       F       0-59%




Science is fun!