College of Science, Engineering and Technology
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NSU - Norfolk State University
SCI 101 : Syllabus
Contact Information
PHONE:   (757) 823-8909 OFFICE:   Room 115 Wood Science Building

Physical Science

SCI-101 is a 3.00 credit hour course designed to give general knowledge of physical science. The course emphasizes knowledge of selected facts, principles, methods of science, and the place of science in our modern world. Topics include astronomy, physics, chemistry, and earth science.

Lecture, case discussion and peer instruction.

LecturesTransit information which supplements or enhances READING; promote understanding via explanations; respond to student misconceptions or difficulties; create or engage interest in a new area; motivate reading or other assignments.
Case DiscussionsPractice thinking and communicating in the subject discipline; evaluate positions, arguments, or designs; defend own position; identifiy problems, conflicts and inconsistencies; get feedback from/about students; draw on students' expertise and prior knowledge.
Peer InstructionThe instructor presents students with a qualitative multiple choice question that is carefully constructed to engage student difficulties with fundamental concepts. The students consider the problem on and contribute their answers in a way that the fraction of the class giving each asnwer can be determined and reported. Students then discuss the issue with their neighbors for two minutes and vote again. The issues are resolved with a class discussion and clarifications.

Successful completion of MTH 101

The Integrated Science course is designed to:

  • Teach the student to think critically and analytically, using scientific reasoning;
  • Promote the skills and concepts in science that will allow each individual to be a scientifically literate, full participant in our modern society;
  • Involve students in a course that allows them to explore phenomena and solve qualitative and quantitative problems from the real world rather than emphasize facts and terminology;
  • Present an “integrated approach” that shows the connections among not only the science disciplines but also among mathematics, the humanities, and “real world” pursuits such as politics and economics.

The goals of this course are to:

  • Provide the student with an introduction to the basic principles and concepts of physical science and the relation of the physical sciences to other disciplines and real world;
  • Build competencies in scientific reasoning.
After completing this course, the student will be able to:
  • Recognize the utility of the metric system, methods of conversion, scientific notation and use them at the mastery level;
  • Demonstrate a basic understanding of the processes and products of physical science, of scientific terms and concepts and of the impact of science on society and their everyday life;
  • Propose relationships between observed phenomena;
  • Judge the degree to which a particular conclusion is justified based on empirical evidence related to observed phenomena.


  1. Textbook: "An Introduction to Physical Science"   By Shipman, James T., Jerry D. Wilson, and Aaron W. Todd, Houghton Mifflin Company 12th ed. 2007
  2. Turning Technologies ResponseCard RF
  3. WebAssign Access Card & Turning Point Remote (RF Clicker)
  4. Basic Calculator


  1. College of Science, Engineering, and Technology (CSET) Website
  2. Web-Enhanced Physical Science Course Related Materials


ChapterTopic of Discussion
4Work and Energy
5Temperature and Heat
Test #1 - Physics Unit
12Chemical Bonding
13Chemical Reaction
Test #2 - Chemistry Unit
16Solar System
18The Universe
Test #3 - Astronomy Unit
19The Atmosphere
20Atmospheric Effects
Test #4 - Earth Science Unit
Final Exam


    Reading Quizzes:
    Reading quizzes are taken on WebAssign and are due prior to class before each new chapter.
    Homework will be assigned; the assignments will be posted on WebAssign.
    Daily Quizzes:
    Quizzes will begin five minutes after the start of each class. Students arriving late will not be able to take the quiz. There will be quizzes in every class using the remotes.
    Final Exam:
    The two-hour final examination will be comprehensive.
    Four hourly tests following completion of each unit will be administered. All tests will be closed book and closed notes. An equation sheet will be provided for you.
    Writing Assignments: (TBD of Total Grade)
    Each week students will read a science article, in the area of physics, technology, engineering, chemistry, astronomy, aerospace science, or environment science. No politics or editorial articles will be accepted. The article must be current and relevant to physical science. The student is to read and study the article and write a paragraph, summarizing the article, including citation of the article. The paragraph should be summary of the science issue contained in the article, (1) summarize the article, (2) draw connections to class discussions or ask relevant questions pertaining to the science discussed in the article. Students are required to read other student's blogs. Assignments will be submitted via Google's Blogger. The link to my blog website is available on Blackboard in External Links. You will need to create a gmail email account and blog at and send me an email with the link to your blog once you have created your blog.
    Chapter Tests:
    Will cover information gained from lecture and reading the textbooks. They are timed and will be completed and submitted via WebAssign. They are not graded.
    *NO Make-up tests will be given.
    *There is no provision for "extra credit" work to improve your grade.
    Grading Assessment:
    Component of GradePercentage of Grade
    Homework Assignments%TBD
    Group Project%TBD
    Writing Assignments%TBD
    Unit Tests25%
    Final Exam25%
    Grading Scale:
     + -
    A 100 - 9089 - 87
    B86 - 8483 - 8079 - 77
    C76 - 7473 - 7069 - 67
    D66 - 6463 - 60 
    F  59 - 0 
    *A grade of incomplete (I) may be given, at the discretion of your instructor, when a maximum of one course requirement has not been met because of illness, emergency or some other reason accepted by the instructor. An "I" grade is very unusual, and is given when the student is passing.
    The instructor reserves the right to revise the grading criteria as appropriate and will make reasonable attempts to notify students as time permits.
    The assessments and learning activities in the course are designed to help the student meet the learning objectives and demonstrate their understanding of the physical laws. Each assessment is related to one or more learning objectives, so that at the completion of this course the student's grade will be a reflection of how much they have learned in this course.


  • Self Enroll Using WebAssign: Go to You will then be able to login using the class key given from the instructor.
  • RF Clicker Registration:Go to
  • Class Attendance Experience indicates that while good attendance does not automatically assure good performance, poor attendance almost certainly guarantees failure. Chronic tardiness, in the absence of some real cause (e.g. work schedule conflict) indicates a lack of commitment on the part of the student. SHOW UP ON TIME! You are responsible for any work that you miss in this class. The University expects all students to attend class regularly. No more than 20% of the scheduled class meetings (excused and/or unexcused) may be missed during the semester. Absences exceeding this limit will result in a final course grade of an "F". Attendance will be taken via your RF clicker, without a working clicker in class during class time will result in an absence for that day. You must bring a working clicker to class every day.
  • Enrollment: Only students whose name appear on the official roster provided by the Registrar's Office will recieve a final grade in the course.
  • Communication Devices: No cellular phones, PDA's, Palms, 2-Way pagers, etc., are permitted in the classroom during lectures, quizzes, tests and final exam times. The use of these devices aren the like will be conisdered cheating. (Reference Academic Honesty Policy)
  • Absence From Final Exam If a student misses a final examination because of an emergency, he/she should notify the instructor within 48 hours after the examination was scheduled. Excuses for missing a final exam are issued by the Office of Student Services/Judicial Affairs only with the consent of the instructor. Such excuses are given only in EXTREME EMERGENCIES, and official, written documentation MUST be presented before an excuse is issued. Failure to follow the above will result in a grade of "F" for the examination, and a final grade will be computed and given for the course.

Please consult the NSU Student Handbook on matters regarding student conduct such as attendance, illness, off-campus trips, and grade appeals, etc.

The College of Science, Engineering and Technology provides tutoring services through the STARS Tutoring Center for those NSU students who may be experiencing difficulties in Mathematics, Computer Science, Engineering, Biology, Chemistry, Nursing, Technology and Physics courses. The STARS office is located in RTC, Suite 100. This service is free of charge and provided to NSU students only. Visit the site at

In accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans With Disabilites Act (ADA) of 1990, if you have a disability or think you have a disability, we ask that you please contact the Supporting Students through Disability Services (SSDS) office.
LOCATION: Student Services Center Room 110D
CONTACT PERSON: Marian E. Shepherd - Disability Services Coordinator SSDS
TELEPHONE: (757) 823-2014

As part of NSU's commitment to provide the environment and resources needed for success, students may be required to participate in a number of university-wide assessment activities. The activities may include tests, surveys, focus groups and interviews, and portfolio reviews. The primary purpose of the assessment activities is to determine the extent to which the university's programs and services maintain a high level of quality and meet the needs of students. Students will not be identified in the analysis of results. Unless indicated otherwise, by the instructor, results from University assessment activities will not be computed in student grades.

Class Attendance Policy
  • A student is expected to attend all classes. The student assumes all responsibility for work missed due to an absence. Make-up work may be permitted at the discretion of the instructor. Refer to the NSU Student Handbook ( for further details.

  • NSU email Accounts
  • In an effort to keep students informed about Norfolk State University updates and account information, students must check their official NSU student email account frequently.
    You may access your official NSU email account at Follow instructions on the NSU-webmail login page.

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