The Science Behind the Headlines: What's the Truth?

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Winter 2019
Credits per quarter

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Taught by

biology, genetics, microbiology
organic chemistry, polymer chemistry, biochemistry

This is a repeating program. Students who take the program in fall should not register for the winter program.

Are you curious about the world around you? Would you like to really understand "buzz terms" the media uses such as the water crisis, the energy debate, sustainability? How can we believe what we are being told? What is the evidence? How is scientific data actually collected? Are the correct conclusions being drawn? As responsible citizens, we should know the answers to these questions.

We will demystify the hype surrounding current scientific and environmental issues, critically examine the data, and use scientific reasoning and experimental design to come to our own conclusions. We will study Water and Energy as themes to examine our environment, considering local, nationwide and global water issues. We will also examine current energy use and demand, critically assessing various sources of energy, such as fossil fuels, nuclear, solar, hydropower.

In this field- and lab-based program, scientific analysis—rather than conjecture or gut feeling—will be the foundation of our work. We will learn modern field science and lab techniques: how to take measurements in the field, collect samples for laboratory analysis, and identify and precisely determine the concentrations of nutrients and pollutants. Other class activities will include small group problem-solving workshops, seminars, and lectures. Credit equivalencies will include introduction to environmental science: water and energy, laboratory and field methods in environmental science, quantitative reasoning and scientific mathematics, and scientific writing.

Note: A nearly identical version of this program will be offered in spring quarter, called "Analyzing the World with Math and Science." Students taking the program in winter quarter should not register for the related spring program.

This offering will prepare you for careers and advanced study in: environmental and laboratory sciences, the liberal arts and education

Online learning:
  • Enhanced Online Learning - This offering requires access to web-based tools, but use of these tools does not displace any face-to-face instruction.

Scheduled for: Day

Located in: Olympia