Two science credits are required at Elon, one of which is a lab and the other being a general credit. This class, Science Without Borders, can only be taken by non-science majors. Students enrolled tend to not care about the information and participation is limited. The professors are not the best, to be quite honest, as there are only so many quality science professors, and the school, understandably, won’t prioritize this course. Here are 5 topics taught in SCI 121:
1. History of Science
The history of science is vast and overlaps with many subset fields within science as a whole. The scientists who discovered atoms, created the periodic table and evolving theories are all examined. This is an introductory course for non-science majors, so only the big names (Einstein, Galilei, Newton, Darwin, etc.) are looked at. This background in science is important for understanding big concepts. It can be hard to understand without background knowledge.
2. Periodic Table
The periodic table is a staple to the science world, but a nightmare to any student studying it. Dmitri Mendeleev created such a beautiful, yet horrifying structure in the 1860s. Your high school chemistry class should come in handy as you combine elements and alter electrons. Only the basic concepts of the periodic table are taught, so don’t be too worried.
DNA is one of the coolest subjects to examine in science, as it shows the true evolution of not only man, but all animals. Seeing the connection between tiny mice and enormous elephant seems backwards, but makes sense genetically. The DNA itself is not studied in terms of breaking it down, but rather the genetic path and Darwinism is focused on in this unit. DNA is vital to understanding our past, and this class teaches you the basics.
4. Climate Change
While global warming is a hot topic, climate change is not. In this course, climate change is taught in a global warming-esque manner, but there is no true debate. It is taught as fact. Regardless of your beliefs, seeing the changing patterns of weather over time, and the potential effects in the future is important to learn, as well as considering multiple perspectives. The environment is not meant to handle so many pollutants, and regardless of the climate, if we pollute the air too much, we humans can’t breathe.
5. Renewable Energy
Referring to climate change, renewable energy serves a potential solution to many problems we are facing. Renewable energy is not the most cost-efficient solution, but France is doing a great job right now in their efforts. The money that goes into oil is discussed and the realism behind implementing a solar, wind, or nuclear power supply is analyzed. It may surprise you how difficult it is to fully or even partially switch.
Science without Borders is a necessary evil since so many Elon kids are trying to get their science credit over with. At the end of the day, if you can get engaged, your professor will love you and the class will be more enjoyable for you and your classmates. The subjects are relatively basic, and you likely have heard some of, if not most of it, before. Best of luck in SCI121!