Course Catalog Description
PHYSICAL SCIENCE 076 0107 - Current Public Issues in Physical Science
Interdisciplinary approach to physical sciences; current public issues serve as framework for course that covers earth sciences (conservation, pollution, space exploration) as well as other branches of science and social and humanistic aspects; integrates significant aspects of physical science with student's other studies as well as daily living. Writing assignments, as appropriate to the discipline, are part of the course. 3 credit hours, 3 lecture hours per week based on sixteen weeks.
This particular course is linked to an English 101 course as part of a learning community. The theme for this course will be food. Food is often studied from a biological perspective, an approach taken in a nutrition course for example. It is less common to study food from the perspective of the physical sciences but there are many interesting topics to explore in this approach. In this course we will examine the chemistry of food, food preservatives, food additives, plastics used to contain food. We will study the chemsitry and geology of soil, the physics of aquaponics water circulation systems, the energy of food production and transportation. After taking this course you will have a much broader perspective on all that is involved in making the food we eat possible.
Prof J. Walker
Department Chair, Physical Science and Engineering
Office: 3826B (Inside the Physical Science and Mathematics Departmental Office)
Phone: (773) 907-4698
Office Hours: MW: 11:00 to 12:00 p.m. and 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. TTh: 1:00 to 5:00.
I've been teaching at Truman College in Uptown, Chicago since 1982. Around the year 2000 I spent six years in administration, a valuable experience but ultimately not the path I wanted to follow. During the time that I was in administration I continued to teach courses in web development. I then returned to my first love - physical sciences.
I have a Master's Degree in Chemistry from University of Illinois, Urbana-Champagne. I am self-taught in programming and web development. I speak Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian and some German. I am working on learning Arabic. My interests include: Chemsitry, Cooking, Education, Foreign Languages, Physical Sciences (all of them!) Urban Gardening and Web Development (Visual Display of Information).
My experience has taught me that the ways students learn best depend on many factors. It is my opinion that a teacher must find the best approach for each individual. I've found that a high-tech, high-touch approach is very effective. Various technologies are a great tools for learning but virtual reality is no substitute for tactile, hands-on learning that occurs when we make something for ourselves or experience the world through the visceral senses of smell and touch. My approach requires laboratory notebooks or journals in my classes. I love to involve students in classroom demonstrations. I think laboratory work is extremely important in science. What I recommend for every student is to remember what it felt like to have the curiosity of a child - and find that curiosity again! The world is truly amazing.
I believe we are reaching a very important crossroads in the evolution of our species and a knowledge of the physical sciences will be essential. We face serious challenges that are global in scope. We must learn to work together as humans for the greater good of our planet and humankind. What could be more important than understanding the nature of matter itself - what we all clearly have in common!
No textbook is required for this course but you are required to purchase a bound composition book (no spiral notebooks) to be used as a course journal.
Statement of Course Goal
The goal of this course is to inspire you and challenge you to learn about important issues based in the physical sciences such as food chemistry, soil chemistry and conservation, energy use and to gain a deeper understanding of the problems, solutions and controversies that exist around food.
You will be expected to complete an original project in this course. More information can be found on the course project page.
Government Organizations (.gov)
- Food and Drug Administration
- United States Department of Agriculture
- Health: Dietary Guidelines
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention
- Annual Energy Review
- Growing Power
- International Food Technologists
- The Chicago Food Policy Advisory Council
- The Institute of Food Technologists
Educational Organizations (.edu)
dot com websites (.com)
- USA Today
- The Wall Street Journal
- The New York Times
- The Washington Post
- Chicago Tribune
- Chicago Sun-Times
- Science Daily
- Le Monde
- The Independent
Truman College Mission Statement
"Our Mission dedicates us to deliver high-quality, innovative, affordable and accessible educational opportunities and services that prepare students for a rapidly changing and diverse global economy."
FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) is a federal law that protects the privacy of student educational records: http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/index.html. Faculty cannot reveal information about students, or discuss student records over the phone or unsecure e-mail. CCC student e-mail meets FERPA requirements.
The Student Services Department provides a broad range of services to assest students in achieving their academic and life goals.
Students with Disabilities
The Truman College Disability Access Center (DAC) verifies needs pursuant to the American Disabilities Act (ADA), determines student academic accommodations, and issues accomodation letters. Phone number: (773) 907-4725. Linda Ford is the director. The DAC is located in Room 1435, Main Bldg.
The tutoring center is located in room 177, Larry McKeon Student Services Building, (773) 907-4785 or (773) 907-4790.
TRIO Student Support Services
TRIO is for low-income students, first generation college students, or students with disabilities who need academic support: (773) 907-4797, Room 1435, Main Bldg. Registration is required at the start of each semester.
Student Success and Leadership Institute (SSLI)
SSLI is for students who need various other support services to achieve their educational goals: (773) 907-4737, Room 1435, Main Bldg.
The Wellness Center provides a variety of services at no cost for students including counseling, crisis intervention, support groups and more. (773) 907-4786, Room 1946, Main Bldg.