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Natural Science - Year II

Review Unit 1: Fall Semester

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Science Web Assignment for Unit 49


This Unit's Homework Page History Lecture Science Lecture Lab Parents' Notes

Science Lecture for Review: Studying Concepts of Science

For Class

Outline/Summary

Preparing for a Science Exam

Testing your mastery objective or factual information about scientific topics usually takes two forms: knowing what terms mean and application of concepts to practical situations.

Science Concepts and Applications

  1. match a term to its definition or a definition to its term, e.g.:
    • the Pythagorean theorem allows us to calculate the lengths of the third side of a right triangle if we know the length of the other two sides.
    • a force exerts a push or pull on an object and changes its speed, direction, or both.
  2. use a theorem to calculate or predict an outcome, e.g.:
    • According to Aristotle's theory of the four kinds of matter, earth will sink below water because it is more drawn to the center (of the earth) than water is.
    • An object moving with constant velocity in a straight line has no net forces acting on it, since neither its speed nor its direction are changing.

Study suggestion: Try to outline the major points of each area below as you review by providing more details. The theory of matter topics are done at a high level for you as examples; you will need to add your own details to those and fill out the other topics.

  1. Matter
    1. Atoms
      1. Protons = atomic number, positive charge
      2. Neutrons add to mass of nucleus
      3. Electrons have negative charge, form bonds
    2. Elements
      1. Families of elements react similarly with the same element
      2. Periodic table layout shows common characteristics of elements
    3. Molecules
      1. Chemical bonds between atoms: ionic, covalent, lattices
      2. Reactions reform bonds: synthesis, dissociation, recombination
        1. Conservation of matter allows us to balance reactions
        2. Activation energy required for any reaction to start
        3. Precipitation occurs when new molecule won't dissolve in solution
    4. Gas laws
      1. Partial pressure: each gas contributes independently to total pressure
      2. Charles' Law: volume depends directly on temperature -> V = kT
      3. Boyle's Law: volume depends indirectly on pressure -> V = k/P
      4. Ideal Gas Law combines Charles/Boyle laws: PV = NkT
  2. Geology
  3. Evolution
  4. Energy

Science Essay Topics to Review

We looked at two kinds of ideas about science itself this fall: the content of scientific theories, and the formation and reception of scientific theories using scientific methods. As you review the topics above, think not only about how both past and current theories describe the behavior of a natural object, but also what evidence was used to support a theory and convince others to accept it.

The following are sample essay questions on scientific theories we have covered, with some suggestions on how to tackle the topic. These are suggestions only; you might come up with something equally good. Just be sure to ground your claims in concrete examples drawn from the material we covered.

The following are sample essay questions on scientific theories we have covered, with some suggestions on how to tackle the topic. These are suggestions only; you might come up with something equally good. Just be sure to ground your claims in concrete examples drawn from the material we covered.

  1. The modern theory of geology rests on the concept of plate tectonics. Describe the theory and the evidence used to support it.
  2. What do modern scientists identify as the methods and objects appropriate to scientific observation and how do they analyze data? Do these methods apply equally to hard sciences like physics or chemistry and to "soft" sciences like economics or anthropology?
  3. The modern theory of biology rests on evolution, particularly the concepts of natural selection and inheritance. Describe these concepts and the evidence used to support them. IMPORTANT: Note that this question does not ask you to describe or assess macroevolution of species through time, so don't get side-tracked!

Study/Discussion Questions

Further Study On your Own (Optional)