E-mail: ringwald[at]csufresno.edu and replace [at] with @
Phone: 278-8426 |
Office hours: MTuWThF 1-2 (between August 25 and December 16).
Office: McLane Hall, Room 11, in the new Building J (or "J-wing").
This is across the outdoor "hall" from McLane 149, 151, and 161, near the Women's Room.
You don't need an appointment to come in during office hours. This is time set aside for you, when I will be in.
Course Prerequisites: Students are required to have completed Natural Science 1A and 1B in the Blended Liberal Studies program, or equivalent courses in introductory Chemistry, Physics, Biology and Earth Science. This background is required, since students will be expected to describe the science behind the technologies they will be presenting in class. Basic calculation and graphing skills are also required. If you do not have these prerequisites, please DROP NOW and make room for others who are trying to get into this class.
(1) To serve as a "How Things Work" course, to help you and your future students understand the technology all around us.
(2) To serve as a "Science, Technology, and Society" course, to understand how these three subjects interact.
(3) To serve as a course on energy, including its generation and use, and of their effects on the environment.
(4) To promote student understanding of scientific method, and to practice critical thinking and reasoning skills, useful both in and outside of science.
(5) To provide experience with quantitative reasoning and graphics, again useful both in and outside of science.
Mathematics: This course will require the use of some algebra and
basic geometry, but mainly a lot of arithmetic. We will also use
scientific notation, units conversions, percentages, and proportions.
Course meeting times and location: Schedule 75329 (section 05): MW
3-4:15 p.m., in McLane 161.
Holidays: September 1 (Labor Day), November 26 (Thanksgiving).
Required Course Texts:
(1) Energy and the Environment, by Robert A. Ristinen and Jack L. Kraushaar (1999).
(2) New Energy Sources, by Nigel Hawkes (2000).
(3) NSci 116 Class Notes, by F. A. Ringwald (2003).
(4) The Elements of Style, 4th ed., by W. Strunk Jr. and E. B. White (2000).
Recommended Course Texts:
(1R) How Stuff Works, by Marshall Brain (2001), although an online version is also available, at http://www.howstuffworks.com/.
(2R) The Way Science Works, by Robin Kerrod and Sharon Ann Holgate (2002).
All texts should be available at the campus Bookstore, in the University Student Union building.
Required Course Equipment:
(1) Clear plastic ruler; (2) Scientific calculator (that has scientific notation, and can calculate logarithmic and exponential functions); (3) A looseleaf notebook, in which to put your NSci 116 Class Notes (although the Copy Center may provide the Class Notes already in these looseleaf notebooks).
Course web page:
Course grades will be awarded for the following final
85.0-100% = A; 70.0-84.9% = B; 55.0-69.9% = C; 40.0-54.9% = D; 0-39.9% = F.
These percentages will be computed with the following weights:
|15%||Two Midterm Exams, the lower of which will be dropped.|
|15%||Presentations (also called "Gadget talks"), including Topic Descriptions (150-250 words due September 10, worth 5% of the final grade) and Presentation Summaries (450-750 words due on the day of your presentation, worth 5% of the final grade).|
|10%||Presentation Evaluations (5 at 2% of the final grade each, 450-750 words each, due at the beginning of the class following the presentation being evaluated).|
|10%||Homework. (Please note: all homework is due in class, and no late
assignments can be accepted.)
|5%||Paper titles and 150-250-word summaries, due Monday, November 24.|
|20%||A paper, between 1750 and 2200 words long, due on the last day of
instruction, on Wednesday, December 10.|
For detailed instructions, see the Writing Guide for Research Papers available online and in the NSci 116 Class Notes.
|25%||Final Exam, which will be comprehensive (covering all material in the
entire course), which will be|
Wednesday, December 15, 3:30-5:30 p.m. in the regular classroom.
Don't miss class. Listening to lectures and participating in discussions are much more effective than reading someone else's class notes. Active participation is even better: it will help you retain what you are learning.
Topic Descriptions: Each week (as scheduled) teams of students will make presentations to the class. The presentations will provide a technology counterpoint to the energy issues that form the backbone of the course. Don't pick an issue, pick a "gadget," or a K-6 science teaching kit instead! How does a cell phone work? What is an MP3 player? How does GPS work in the OnStar system? How does a "new technology" fluorescent light work? How do you use an electrical circuit hands-on teaching kit? A list of possible topics for the team presentation will be available on the course website and will be posted in class; topics will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Other topics may be chosen with approval of the instructor. You will post your topic in class; every team must have a different topic. Your team will need to submit a 150-to-250-word Topic Description describing what you plan to do, which is due on September 10.
Presentation Summary: On the day your team makes the presentation, provide the instructor with a written summary of what you are presenting, including the sources used (web sites, books, etc.) in planning your presentation. You must have at least three sources for the presentation as a whole. This Presentation Summary should be 450-750 words long (150-250 words for each team member), describing what each team member did, plus a bibliography. If you use PowerPoint, print out a paper copy (also called a hardcopy) of the slides used and attach them to the summary. Any handouts you use must be attached as well, but they will not count toward your 450-750 summary words. Be sure the full names of the team members are on the pages they write. This Presentation Summary count as part of your Presentation grade.
Presentation: Each team of three students will choose a different topic. There will be a signup sheet in the classroom. The students are to choose one "gadget," and then: (1) Describe how it works; (2) Cover the underlying science; and (3) Describe its impact on society. Presentations are 5 minutes for each student, totalling 15 minutes for all three students on the team. (If necessary, there can be teams of 2 students, but they will have to present for the full 15 minutes total, and their Topic Descriptions and Presentation Summaries have to be full length. Teams of 1 student are not allowed.) You are expected to use all of this time, with about 5 minutes afterwards for questions. "Quickie" presentations ("This is a battery. It has chemicals inside and makes electricity. Any questions?") will receive a very low grade. Although you may choose to use something like a brief video as part of your presentation, the bulk of what is presented must be your own work. Plan your time carefully. There are three of you, so each will typically do one of the three required elements. Props and hands-on materials are welcome and will be useful, for later use in explaining things in a K-6 classroom. Put your presentation together early enough to meet with your instructor for help filling any holes you find in your basic science background. I expect you to come to me for help in understanding the basic science; once I teach you, then you can go on to teach the rest of the class.
Science Teaching Kit Presentation: Instead of the technology presentation described above, your team can elect to present the use of a K-6 science teaching kit that is technology-related. For example, FOSS kits (see http://www.lhs.berkeley.edu/FOSS/) which explain magnets, electric circuits, electric motors, solar energy, etc. should be available from the School of Education, as are science kits from other vendors. Explain the science behind the Kit, and demonstrate how it would be used. Split the tasks up in your team as you see fit, but everyone must stand up and talk for five minutes at some point! Your written summary still requires at least three sources as outlined above, since you will need to augment your science knowledge beyond the materials provided in the kit.
Presentation Evaluations: Those not making a presentation should take good notes on the science and technology presented, as this material will show up on the mid-term and final exams. From your notes you are required to turn in evaluations of any five of the presentations. The evaluations must be word-processed (or typed) and in the style of the Writing Guide for Research Papers for NSci 116. Each evaluation must be 450-750 words in length, for a total of 5 x 450 = 2250 words, about half the length of an upper-division term paper. Give the name of the topic and the names of the presenters, and then summarize what each presenter did and critique how well they did it. "They did a good (or poor) job" will not be adequate. Tell where they were unclear or made errors, and make suggestions for improvement. The Presentation Evaluation is due at the beginning of the next class. Late evaluations will not be accepted. (The one exception to this is: evaluations for presentations given in the class before either of the mid-term exams will not be due until the class that follows the mid-term exam.) This means you may not turn in an evaluation of an "old" presentation later on in the semester. It is strongly advised that you do your five evaluations early in the semester, as teams have been known to vanish as students drop and teams are reshuffled. If you find yourself short at the end, you will lose the points for the missed evaluations.
Sorry, but I cannot give make-ups for mid-term exams, nor can I give mid-term or final exams in advance. These classes are far too large for it to be possible, because I cannot be in two places at once. Even with smaller classes, I can never be sure that a makeup or advance exam was really fair, since it must be different from the regular exam. If you must miss a mid-term exam for a compelling reason (e.g., job interview or illness documented by a physician's note), the part of the course grade that mid-term exam would have counted will be voided, and the rest of the grade will be counted as 100%. If you must miss the final exam for a very compelling reason (e.g., illness documented by a physician's note), you will receive a grade of I (incomplete) for NSci 116 for the semester. It will then be your responsibility to contact the university administration in a timely fashion, and make the necessary arrangements to remove the I grade. See the California State University, Fresno General Catalog for regulations concerning the I grade.
If for any reason a student leaves the classroom while an exam is being given, the student may not re-enter the classroom as long as that exam is still taking place. The student's leaving the exam will be taken to signify that the student has finished that exam. This includes trips to the bathroom, so plan ahead. All students are required to remove hats and sunglasses during all exams, because they have in the past been used to aid cheating. Students may not use calculators, pagers, cell phones, or any other devices that can communicate outside the classroom during exams. This constitutes cheating, and any students caught cheating, in this or any other way, will receive an F in the entire course.
However, if you do collaborate, it must be genuine collaboration: not one person doing all the work, and the others blindly copying, which constitutes cheating. Therefore, while you may work together, write up the results separately, in your own words. A dead giveaway is when I get two papers that are exactly the same. Do people think I don't notice it?
Modifying someone else's paper slightly, or changing the words around, or stringing someone else's paragraphs together, even if they're cited, is no better: none of these dubious practices make it your paper. For information on the University's policy regarding cheating and plagiarism, refer to the Schedule of Courses (Legal Notices on Cheating and Plagiarism) or the University Catalog (Policies and Regulations).
To prevent plagiarism, I will copy both the paper titles and summaries and the papers themselves, and I will keep these copies on file, for life. If I find a plagiarized paper, the student will receive an F for the entire course. I may also send the plagiarized paper to the Dean and other university authorities (e.g. coaches) and recommend the student be expelled from the Universityor the degree be revoked, if I don't find it until 25 years from now. Do NOT plagiarize!
Go to Dr.
Ringwald's home page
Last updated 2003 July 28. Web page by Dr. Ringwald
(ringwald[at]csufresno.edu and replace [at] with @)
Department of Physics, California State University, Fresno