Physical Science 107 Food Matters

Welcome to Physical Science 107 — Current Public Issues in Physical Science. I will teach one section in the Fall 2012 as part of a learning community. The course will be paired with English 101.


Course Information

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.


Joy WalkerProf J. Walker
Department Chair, Physical Science and Engineering
Office: 3824/3826 (Main Office)
Phone: (773) 907-4698

Office Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday afternoons (1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.) by appointment. You may call (872) 216-1317 to leave messages.

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. I have a master's degree in Chemistry from University of Illinois, Urbana-Champagne. I hold certificates in computer repair (A+), Certified Internet Webmaster (CIW), and Internet Security (CISSP). I have a variety of interests: Chemsitry, Web Development, Physical Sciences (all of them), Urban Gardening, and Education. I continue to explore a variety of techniques in the classroom in a blended: high tech - high touch approach. Technology is a great tool for teaching but it does not take the place of tactile, hands-on learning that occurs when we make something for ourselves. I use laboratory notebooks or journals in most of my classes. I love to do demonstrations in class. 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.


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.

journal notebook

Journal Instructions
Journal Checklist
Journal Rubric

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.

Course Introduction

Course Project

You will be expected to complete an original project in this course. More information can be found on the course project page.


International Websites

Government Organizations (.gov)

Organizations (.org)

Educational Organizations (.edu)

dot com websites (.com)




Recommended books and videos for Physical Science 107: Food Matters

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: Faculty cannot reveal information about students, or discuss student records over the phone or unsecure e-mail. CCC student e-mail meets FERPA requirements.

Student Services

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.

Tutoring Center

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 educatinal goals: (773) 907-4737, Room 1435, Main Bldg.

Wellness Center

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.