GSTR 332 Scientific Knowledge& Inquiry

Prerequisites: Practical Reasoning with Quantitative Emphasis (PRQ) and sophomore standing

Offered: Typically Fall and Spring terms

This course invites students to explore a variety of scientific disciplines in order to understand what science is, does, and tells us about the natural world around us. Employing an integrative approach to the natural sciences, the course emphasizes the historical development of laws, models, and theories, as well as basic scientific literacy important to contemporary concerns. Each section of the course includes inquiry-based learning (laboratory) experiences. NOTE: See the 'General Education Program' section of this publication for an alternate way to meet this requirement by taking two approved courses, at least one of which must be a laboratory course. 1 Course Credit

Students who successfully complete GSTR 332 will be able to:

  1. Articulate the basic facts, the historical development, and the evidence supporting our current conception of:
    1. big bang cosmology;
    2. motion and energy;
    3. atomic and molecular structure;
    4. radioactivity;
    5. organic evolution;
    6. the age of the Earth;
    7. plate tectonics.
  2. Describe experiences with:
    1. the dynamic nature of science; that science progresses by substituting one explanation of natural phenomena with a more accurate explanation;
    2. the roles of facts, models, laws, hypotheses and theories in the process of science; that good scientific explanations not only describe what is known about the natural world, but make accurate predictions about phenomena that are yet to be encountered;
    3. the roles and value of careful observation, practical reasoning, quantitative skills, and creativity in conducting scientific inquiries and constructing scientific knowledge;
    4. the scientific method as a form of practical reasoning that can be used successfully in other areas of inquiry.
  3. Use quantitative skills to:
    1. support qualitative hypotheses;
    2. recognize, interpret, and extract information displayed in graphs and tables;
    3. recognize when numerical results do not make sense.
  4. Examine and critique current real world situations and problems using basic scientific information from astronomy, physics, chemistry, biology, and geology.
  5. Appreciate the value of scientific inquiry, and adopt a positive attitude about science, including a willingness to continue learning about scientific topics after the course has ended.


1 Course Credit