The American University in Cairo
Scientific Thinking–H Mostafa Fall 2016
Scientific Thinking (Sci1020) engages students in scientific inquiry. The course enhances students' awareness of the process science and science literacy as well as developing scientific habits of mind enabling them to apply scientific knowledge and reasoning to personal, professional and public decision-making
This course is a 3 credit hour course meeting 3 days a week for 55 minutes on Mondays and Thursdays, and 75 minutes on Tuesdays.
In the Event of a Tuesday where no GL is scheduled, class will meet as usual unless otherwise stated. Some classes may be extended by 15 minutes if needed and will be announced.
Primary Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of this course students will
be able to:
and Critical Thinking Outcomes:
Recognize how scientific inquiry is based on the
investigation of evidence from the natural world, and that scientific knowledge
and understanding is based on evidence, which differs from personal and
Evaluate the credibility and validity of information
relating to social and science topics and distinguish between science and
Articulate the relationship between the
natural sciences and society and the application of science to societal
Demonstrate an understanding of the scope and
limits of science through the exploration of some of the key concepts of
selected scientific theories and milestones.
scientific inquiry by applying the scientific method and scientific thinking in interpreting information and problem solving.
Critical thinking learning skills
addressed in this course include the ability to:
interpret and make judgments about the relevance and quality of
assumptions and consider alternative perspectives/solutions.
conclusions and make judgments based on evidence gathered.
ideas into a coherent argument/solution/presentation, etc.
- Participate effectively and appropriately in a university classroom
- Use multimedia or other tools to enhance a presentation.
and Information Literacy Skills:
- Write short reflection and/or critical analysis paper linked to a reading, film, lecture or popular
science topic (500-750 words).
- Contribute to a group final project.
- Participate on a collaborative team project
Broad Course Outline
A. (Week 1- 7 excluding Eid break) Thursday September 1st-Thursday
Scientific Thinking and the Process of Science
- Introduction to Scientific thinking, evaluation of Information; tools
of skeptical thinking
- Science as a process; the scientific method
- Science and pseudoscience
- Analysis of case studies
- Research Methods and Basic Quantitative Reasoning
To be announced on Bb
TBA (week 8 of semester)
B. (Week 8-15) Monday October 24th-Last day of classes on
Thursday December 15th
A.The magnificent universe and our
place in it: Where do we fit in?
- Big Bang and origin of galaxies
- Birth, evolution and death of stars
- Origin of the elements
- Origin of Earth and the Solar system
B. Our Descent from the stars: Who are we? Where did we come from?
- Origins of life
- DNA and more
- Evolution of life
This will take place during exam week as per the online final exam
The course calendar (with exam dates and other announcements) will be
found on Bb. You should regularly check your Bb calendar and your Bb
Use of technology and Web-Enhanced/flipped teaching
We will be
regularly using Bb where all your materials, grades, assignments and the like
will be found. Out of class, this will be our main mode of communication
through email or a discussion group should you be assigned one. You will be
required to check your Bb account regularly for updates.
In addition, you
will be using the internet and applications such as PowerPoint, wikis, or
Support through the library Learning Commons’ Student Technology Assistants (STAs) will be provided should you need help.
You should be prepared to work on class material at home in preparation
for class discussion or in-class activities.
work may also be assigned at home in the event of class suspension
should the need arise. This may include completing
online activities, participating in
online discussions, using
collaborative online resources such as a wiki or a blog and other basic online teaching and learning
You will be provided with adequate guidelines should this need arise.
Class Attendance Policy And Participation In Class Activities
All students are encouraged to attend regularly. Students are not
permitted to exceed 9 excused or unexcused absences as per the University
catalogue and course requirements (3 weeks of instruction). Poor attendance will
result in loss of activity and participation points (total 15% distributed
over the semester) due to the high number of graded in-class activities.
Poor attendance will also reflect poorly on group work relating to projects and other activities such as in-class discussion of assigned readings.
More than 9 absences will result in a lower final letter grade (up to a failing grade F) for the course.
Coming in 10 minutes after the start of class will count as a “late attendance”. Two “late attendances” will count as an (one) absence.
Academic Integrity and Plagiarism
Students are expected to commit to the principles of
integrity includes a commitment to not engage in or tolerate acts of
falsification, misrepresentation or deception.
Such acts of dishonesty include cheating or copying, plagiarizing, submitting another persons' work as one's own, using Internet or other sources without citation, fabricating field data or citations, stealing examinations, tampering with the academic work of another student, facilitating other students' acts of academic dishonesty, etc. Plagiarism for assignments and/or reports may result in a zero grade for the assignment and/or the report in question. Cheating during an examination may result in a zero grade for this examination. Further action, according to university regulations, would also be implemented.
You should be
aware that all written work might be submitted to “Turnitin.com”, the detection
prevention software. By signing this syllabus, you will acknowledge that you
have understood that any detected plagiarism will have to be reported.
The University's statement on academic integrity, from
which the above statement is drawn, is available at http://www.aucegypt.edu/academics/integrity/Pages/default.aspx
"Kindly be informed that the
period of late Registration and Drop/Add ends on September 7th at
3:00pm. The last day for DROPPING A COURSE (not drop/add) is which is the 8th
week in the semester October 27th
2016. This date is
scheduled in accordance with the new drop policy approved by the University
Senate which we started to implement as of the fall 2012."