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North Idaho College • Coeur d'Alene • Natural Sciences • Physics

Fundamentals of Physical Science PHYS-101

  • Fall 2012
  • Section 02
  • 4 Credits
  • 08/27/2012 to 12/20/2012
  • Modified 08/24/2012

Contact Information

Instructor: Chad Ebert

Office Hours

  • Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 10:00 AM to 10:50 AM, STR 304
  • Thursday, 9:00 AM to 10:50 AM, STR 304

Meeting Times


  • Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 8:00 AM to 9:50 AM, STR 306

Lab is Monday OR Wednesday OR Friday.


This course is designed for the non-science major interested in an overview of the physical sciences and in developing an appreciation for the nature of the physical universe. It includes physics, chemistry, astronomy, and geology and their relation to the world and universe in which we live. It fulfills one of the laboratory science requirements for the A.A., A.S., and A.A.S. degrees. Lecture: 3 hours per week


An Introduction to Physical Science

  • Author: Shipman Wilson Todd
  • Publisher: Brooks/Cole
  • Edition: 12

Laboratory Guide: An Introduction to Physical Science

  • Author: Shipman Baker
  • Publisher: Brooks/Cole
  • Edition: 12

Lab Materials

Pencil, eraser, and preferably a calculator.


Course Outcomes - Upon completion of this course, the student should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate the ability to understand the fundamental facts and concepts in four major scientific disciplines.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to make conceptual connnections within and across scientific disciplines.

General Education Abilities emphasized in this course - 1) Critical/Creative Thinking & Problem Solving, 2) Mathematical, Scientific & Symbolic Reasoning

Outcomes and abilities are measured by any of the following:  Quizzes, tests, oral presentations, lab work.



Grades will be broken down into three categories and weighted as follows:

Homework Assessments = 25%

Labs = 25%

Exams = 50%

I will tentatively use the grading scale shown below.  The minimum percentage requirement for a given grade may decrease, but will not increase.

Minimum   Percentage


Minimum   Percentage


Minimum   Percentage
























Below   60



Homework Assessments:

Homework involves reading the specified chapters and working through the end-of-chapter features (“Key Terms” through “Exercises”).  This will serve you better if you read the material before you see it presented in the lectures.  The assessments, mostly in the form of timed quizzes, will be given periodically to test your understanding of the content in the text and lectures.  Each assessment will be equally weighted.  Your top 20 assessment scores out of a minimum of 23 assessments will be counted toward your homework assessment score.  This will be 25% of your final grade.


Your lab grade will be based upon participation in lab, the work you do on your lab data sheets, and answers to questions presented in the lab manual.  Each lab is worth 20 points.  There are a total of twelve lab sessions for a total of 240 total possible points.  This will be 25% of your final grade.  Remember, attendance in lab is essential to the learning process and therefore required.  Absences in more than two labs will result in an overall final grade of an F. 


Exams will be taken at the Testing Center or other approved testing facility on the dates shown in the schedule below.  Please schedule a time with the Testing Center to ensure that you are able to take the test on time.  If you have a conflict for any reason, notify me via phone or email as soon as possible so that accommodations can be made before the exam is due.  If no accommodations can be reached prior to the test due date, a grade of zero will be recorded for that exam.  No make-up exams will be given!  There are a total of five exams, with no cumulative final exam.  Your exam score will be based on the best four scores out of these five exams.  This will be 50% of your final grade.

Course Policies


Attendance in lab is essential to the learning process and therefore required.  Absences in more than two labs will result in an overall final grade of an F. 


Tentative Course Schedule:


Week of

Text Sections   Covered

Test   Information

Lab   Activity










3.1-3.7;   4.1-4.6


Exp   1: Graphing

&   Exp 2: Measurement



Test   #1 (Chap 1-4)

available   from 9/17 to 9/21

Exp   24: Heat of Fusion


6.1-6.6;   7.1-7.6


Exp   11: Waves

&   Exp 13: Plane Mirrors and Index of Refraction




Exp   19: Ohm’s Law



Test   #2 (Chap 5-8)

available   from 10/8 to 10/12

Exp   9: Laws of Equilibruim


10.1-10.7;   11.1-11.6


Exp   35: Solutions and Solubility




Exp   34: Molecular Structure



Test   #3 (Chap 9-14)

available   from 10/29 to 11/2

Exp   40:  Stars and Their Apparent Motions



18.1-18.2;   15.1-15.6


Exp   41: Locating Stars in the Night Sky


16.1-16.8;   17.1-17.6

Test   #4 (Chap 15-18)

available   from 11/14 to 11/20

Phases   of the Moon



Thanksgiving   Break



21.1-21.6;   22.1-22.6


Exp   3:  The Simple Pendulum




Exp   50: Topographic Maps




Exp   51: Minerals



Test   #5 (Chap 21-24)

available   from 12/17 to 12/19


Additional Items

Division Policies

Student Responsibility
As outlined in the Student Code of Conduct, all North Idaho College students have both rights and responsibilities.  Please access www.nic.ferpa.StudentCode/index.htm for complete information.  For a complete explanation of the NIC Statement on Academic Honesty & Academic Integrity, please refer to Policy/Procedure 5.06.01:

Academic Integrity

I.  Disruptive behavior in the class is not tolerated. To quote from the NIC “Student Code of Conduct,” Article II, (found in the Student Handbook): In order to carry out North Idaho College’s Mission and to create a community of learners, the students, faculty, staff, and administrators must share common principles or values.  These values, which include honesty, trust, fairness, respect, and responsibility, make up academic integrity.
II.  Academic Dishonesty.  Violations of academic integrity involve using or attempting to use any method that enables an individual to misrepresent the quality or integrity of his or her work at North Idaho College.  These violations include the following:

  1. Cheating - Using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, or study in any academic exercise.
  2. Fabrication - Falsifying or inventing any information or citation in an academic exercise.
  3. Plagiarism - Knowingly representing the words, ideas or work of another as one's own in an academic exercise.
  4. Violation of Intellectural Property - Stealing, altering, or destroying the academic work of other members of the community or the educational resources, materials, or official documents of the college.
  5. Facilitating Academic Dishonesty - Knowingly helping another to attempt to violate any provisions of this policy.

Our department strongly endorses the above code, believing that no learning can take place if a strong commitment to academic integrity is compromised.  Any unethical behavior, including any violation of academic integrity or instance of plagiarism, may result in a grade of zero for an assignment in question or failure of the course.

Institutional Policies

Student Code of Conduct

The Student Code of Conduct applies to any student enrolled at North Idaho College.  This includes, but is not limited to, face-to-face classes and Internet classes.

Student Responsibilities

As students undertake to fulfill the obligations and duties outlined in this document, the college community of which they are a part undertakes to respect the basic freedoms of students. In recognition of students’ rights and dignity as members of the college, North Idaho College is committed to the principles found in the NIC Student Handbook.

Center for Educational Access/Disability Support Services

In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504/508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, North Idaho College provides accommodations to eligible students who experience barriers in the educational setting due to learning, emotional / mental, physical, visual, or hearing disabilities.  Instructors will provide accommodations to students only after having received a Letter of Accommodation from the Center for Educational Access. 

If a student would like to request accommodations, he or she must contact the Center for Educational Access so that a Letter of Accommodation may be sent to the instructor.  Students requesting accommodations must contact the Center for Educational Access at the beginning of each semester.


By registering at North Idaho College, you agree to provide payment by the due dates. You also understand that collection costs and legal fees will be added if the services of a collection agency are utilized.

If you are registered for a class and do not attend, you will still be liable for the tuition unless you drop the class.


Last day for students to withdraw from semester-length classes:

Instructor-Initiated Withdrawal: Instructors have the right to withdraw students for academic reasons up until the same date; in doing so, instructors must notify students through NIC e-mail within 48 hours of submitting documentation to the Registrar's office, and students have the right to appeal the instructor's decision. For more information, see the NIC Procedure:

Financial Aid Satisfactory Progress Policy: All withdrawals, whether for individual classes, total withdrawal from school, or instructor-initiated are not considered to be satisfactory progress for financial aid.  See the Financial Aid Satisfactory Progress Policy:

Additional withdrawal information:


An incomplete is assigned only if the student has been in attendance and has done satisfactory work to within three weeks of the end of the semester (or proportional length of time for a course of less than a semester in length).  Incompletes are issued only in cases of extenuating circumstances, such as severe illness or injury.  Incompletes are not issued in cases in which the student is simply unable to complete his/her work within the specified semester or session.  If a final grade of "I" is recorded, the instructor will indicate in writing to the Registrar what the student must do to make up the deficiency.  The instructor will indicate in the written statement what permanent grade should be entered if the Incomplete is not removed by the deadline.

All incomplete grades must be removed within six weeks after the first class day of the following term, excluding the summer session.  If the Incomplete is not removed by that date, the grade reverts to the grade indicated by the instructor's written statement authorizing the incomplete.

Discrimination and Harassment

North Idaho College has a zero tolerance policy for any acts of discrimination or harassment of any kind.  For more information, please see the NIC Student Handbook, Code of Conduct Article III and Article VIII. Compliance efforts with respect to these laws and regulations are the responsibility of each member of the campus community and are under the direction of the Dean of Students Office for Student Issues (2nd floor, Edminster Student Union Building, (208) 676-7156) and the Human Resources Office (Sherman Administration Building, (208) 769-3304) for employee issues.

Institutional Statement

DROP FOR NON-PAYMENT:  By registering at North Idaho College, you agree to provide payment by the due dates. You will be dropped from classes if payment is not received by  5 p.m. Pacific Time on the third day of the semester. Students on the waitlist will be given the option to register for classes after students are dropped for non-payment.

REMOVAL FROM CLASS FOR NON-ATTENDANCE:  Attendance is based on your participation in this class. Failure to attend may result in your being removed from this class and may result in your financial aid award being reduced. You are responsible for confirming the accuracy of your attendance record.