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 Course Title:   Matter and Energy in Life Science

 Title Abbreviation:   MATTER/ENERGY-LIFE SCI

 Department:    BIOL

 Course #:    111

 Credits:    5

 Variable:     No

 IUs:    5.5

 CIP:    n/a

 EPC:    n/a

 REV:    2017

 Course Description  

An inquiry-based survey of chemistry and biology designed to promote a basic understanding of the influence of molecular structure and properties on living systems. Lab included. This course is part of a science sequence recommended for students pursuing a career in elementary education, but is open to all students. The suggested sequence is PHYS 111, BIOL 111, EASC 111.


Prerequisite: Appropriate placement or grade of 2.0 or higher in ENGL 099.

Additional Course Details

Contact Hours (based on 11 week quarter)

Lecture: 44

Lab: 22

Other: 0

Systems: 0

Clinical: 0

Intent: Distribution Requirement(s) Status:  

Academic Natural Sciences  

Equivalencies At Other Institutions

Other Institution Equivalencies Table
Institution Course # Remarks

Learning Outcomes

After completing this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Appreciate that science is a universal language that transcends race, cultures, and geography.
  2. Experience different learning styles through group work in discussion and laboratory activities
  3. Believe that scientific literacy is possible for any person.
  4. Develop hypotheses and design experiments to answer basic questions they have identified.
  5. Construct models explaining the components of systems and their interactions.
  6. Read and interpret scientific data presented graphically including maps.
  7. Demonstrate understanding that sufficient data and multiple fundamental scientific theories are needed to explain complex systems and that these theories evolve.
  8. Demonstrate understanding of the structure of atoms and molecules, the forces that hold these particles together, and the influence that these have on physical and chemicalproperties
  9. Demonstrate understanding of the basic characteristics of living things, basic chemistry of life, energy processing, diversity of life, and evolution of life.

General Education Learning Values & Outcomes

Revised August 2008 and affects outlines for 2008 year 1 and later.

1. Information Literacy

Definition: Recognizing when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information.

Outcomes: Students will be able to . . .
1.3 Evaluate information and its sources critically.

2. Critical Thinking

Definition: The ability to think critically about the nature of knowledge within a discipline and about the ways in which that knowledge is constructed and validated and to be sensitive to the ways these processes often vary among disciplines.

Outcomes: Students will be able to . . .
2.1 Identify and express concepts, terms, and facts related to a specific discipline.
2.2 Analyze issues and develop questions within a discipline.
2.3 Identify, interpret, and evaluate pertinent data and previous experience to reach conclusions.
2.4 Evaluate decisions by analyzing outcomes and the impact of actions.
2.8 Describe how one’s own preconceptions, biases and values affect one’s response to new and ambiguous situations.
2.9 Apply and/or create problem-solving strategies to successfully adapt to unpredictable and/or changing environments.

3. Communication

Definition: Understanding and producing effective written, spoken, visual, and non-verbal communication.

Outcomes: Students will be able to . . .
3.2 Recognize, produce and demonstrate appropriate interpersonal, group, and public speaking skills.
3.3 Demonstrate effective listening skills.
3.6 Recognize, comprehend, and use visual communication appropriate to a given context.
3.7 Adapt communication to diverse audiences and media.

4. Community & Cultural Diversity

Definition: Recognizing the value of human communities and cultures from multiple perspectives through a critical understanding of their similarities and differences.

Outcomes: Students will be able to . . .
4.2 Understand, value and respect human differences and commonalities as they relate to issues of race, social class, gender, sexual orientation, disabilities and culture.

9. Scientific Literacy

Definition: Understanding scientific principles, and analyzing and applying scientific information in a variety of contexts.

Outcomes: Students will be able to . . .
9.1 Demonstrate an understanding of fundamental scientific concepts.
9.2 Demonstrate their understanding of the principles of scientific methods, analysis, and reasoning.
9.3 Analyze, apply, and communicate scientific concepts and principles in context (for example, in technological, personal, and/or professional situations).
9.4 Use scientific concepts and principles to understand the natural world, human behavior and culture, and relationships between humans and the rest of the natural world.

Course Contents

  1. The universe is made of approximately 100 different kinds of atoms, themselves made of even smaller particles (electrons, protons, neutrons).
  2. The organization of particles within an atom accounts for chemical properties.
  3. Molecules are combinations of atoms held together by electromagnetic forces.
  4. Electromagnetic forces also exist between molecules (intermolecular forces).
  5. Intermolecular forces account for the physical properties of substances.
  6. Atoms and molecules are in constant motion and collide with one another continuously.
  7. The strength of intermolecular forces relative to the kinetic energy of the atoms or molecules determines the physical state (solid, liquid, or gas) of the substance.
  8. Collisions between molecules may result in new combinations of atoms (a chemical reaction).
  9. Cells are the fundamental units of life on Earth and demonstrate all the properties of living things: energy transfer, response to stimuli, growth, reproduction, movement.
  10. Cell function is regulated by specific portions of the cell’s DNA (genes) and is dependent upon cell structures such as the plasma membrane, types of organelles, enzyme repertoire, structural proteins.
  11. In multicellular organisms, specialized cells form tissues, organs and organ systems that function together to maintain homeostasis by supporting digestion, reproduction, circulation, excretion, movement, and fighting of disease.
  12. Organisms and ecosystems are open systems that sustain life by interacting to obtain, transport, transform and release energy and matter.
  13. Organisms on Earth have evolved over long periods of time.
  14. Natural selection and other theories are scientific attempts to explain why and how organisms evolve.
  15. Evidence for evolution of organisms is found in the fossil record, in the structure and function of extant organisms, in field observations and in scientific experiments.