Dr. Chuks Ogbonnaya
Email: cogbonnaya@me.vccs.edu
Office: Dalton-Cantrell Rm 211
Phone: (276) 523-2400, ext 276


Course Description

Introduces the basic sciences which describe our physical environment. Includes the fundamentals of geology, meteorology, physics, chemistry, and biology. Describes basic scientific principles and relates them to natural phenomena and the activities of men. Emphasizes field experiences, including techniques and data gathering. Lecture 3 hours. Laboratory 3 hours. Total 6 hours per week.


Goals/Specific Objectives

SCT 111 is the first in a two-semester series, designed to introduce students to basic sciences, which describe their physical environment. The student will be introduced to the nomenclature of science so that he/she may continue with more advanced classes in sciences.

  1. Those topics on the course syllabus.
  2. The course will build a foundation on terminology and an introduction to basic principles of ecology, biology, and chemistry.



Instructional Methods

There will be a three-hour lecture and three hours of laboratory each week. To receive a passing grade on lab write-ups, students must follow the outline format provided by the instructor. The lab reports must be neat and should convey an understanding of purpose and results of the excercise. Lab reports are due one week after completion of excercises.



Laboratory Studies in Environmental Science by Chuks Ogbonnaya
ISBN # 0-69723161-5



Core Competencies

This course satisfies the following core competencies:

·       Understand and interpret complex materials.

·       Assimilate, organize, develop, and present an idea formally and informally.

·       Discriminate among degrees of credibility, accuracy, and reliability of inferences drawn from given data.

·       Recognize parallels, assumptions, or presuppositions in any given source of information.

·       Evaluate the strengths and relevance of arguments on a particular question or issue.

·       Weigh evidence and decide if generalizations or conclusions based on the given data are warranted.

·       Determine whether certain conclusions or consequences are supported by the information provided.

·       Use problem solving skills.

·       Interpret and use mathematical formulas.

·       Interpret mathematical models such as graphs, tables and schematics and draw inferences from them.

·       Use graphical, symbolic, and numerical methods to analyze, organize, and interpret data.

·       Estimate and consider answers to mathematical problems in order to determine reasonableness.

·       Represent mathematical information numerically, symbolically, and visually, using graphs and charts.

·       Generate an empirically evidenced and logical argument.

·       Distinguish a scientific argument from a non-scientific argument.

·       Reason by deduction, induction and analogy.

·       Distinguish between casual and causal and correlational relationships.

·       Recognize methods of inquiry that lead to scientific knowledge.





For Your Information:

All correspondence and assignments should be sent to the email address listed above.

Since SCT111 is an online course, each student is expected to check his or her Mountain Empire email address at least twice weekly. If you are having problems using your Mountain Empire email address, please contact the instructor as soon as possible.

The instructor will use email to keep you updated on your progress throughout the course. If you have completed any kind of assignment and have not heard from the instructor within a reasonable length of time (two work days if the assignment was turned in over the internet or a week if the assignment was turned in through the postal service), then you should contact the instructor to make sure that your assignment was received.



Emergency Statement

In the event of a College-wide emergency, course requirements, classes, deadlines, and grading schemes are subject to changes that may include alternative delivery methods; alternative methods of interaction with the instructor, class materials, and/or classmates; a revised attendance policy; and a revised semester calendar and/or grading scheme.

In the case of a College emergency, please refer to the following about changes in this course:


·         If you are unable to access the water/wastewater distance learning website, please contact IT services at 276-523-2400 or contact your instructor.  If power or servers are down across campus it may take a couple of hours for service to be reinstated.  Please be patient and your course material will be back up and running shortly.  If this does occur penalties will not be given for late assignments.

·         If the MECC mail server is down your instructor will use the following email address: Caogbonnaya1975@yahoo.com.
*****Please note that this email address will ONLY be used in case of an emergency when the MECC mail server is down!******

·         The telephone number for your instructor is as follows:
276-523-2400, ext 276

For more general information about the emergency situation, please refer to:

·         The Mountain Empire Community College web site at www.mecc.edu or the Virginia Community College System web page at www.vccs.edu

·         The college phone number is 276-523-2400

·         The college phone number to call in case of snow or inclement weather is 276-523-7495. You may also receive information about snow or inclement weather at the following TV and Radio Stations:

WCYB-TV— Bristol

WJHL-TV — Johnson City

WQUT-FM — Johnson City

WAXM-FM — Norton

WDIC-FM — Clintwood

WJNV-FM — Jonesville

WXBQ-FM — Bristol

·         You may contact security at MECC from off campus by calling 276-523-7473 and from on campus by dialing 473 from any campus phone. There are also several emergency security phones located on MECC’s campus.



Emergency Notifications: When MECC considers an emergency to pose an ongoing threat to students and employees, the college community will be notified in several ways:

1.    Text Message (register to receive text messages from MECC at http://www.mecc.edu/sms/index.html)

2.    Email

3.    Telephone

4.    Postings on the college’s web site

5.    In person




All students at MECC should abide by the standards of conduct outlined in the MECC Student Handbook. Cheating WILL NOT be tolerated. Anyone caught cheating on an assignment or test will receive a zero for that assignment.



Instructions for Individuals with Disabilities

Students may request academic accommodation for disabilities through the Office of Student Services.  That office will evaluate the request and make recommendations for appropriate and reasonable accommodations, which the student will provide to the instructor.

Individuals requiring temporary handicapped parking accommodations due to short-term illness should also contact Student Services.

All correspondence will be kept confidential.





Reading Assignments


Subject Matter









Introduce Course Outline
Nature of Science
Physical and Chemical Changes
Properties of Matter
Scientific Figures
Scientific Notation
Systems of Measurements
Periodic Chart
Elements and Atoms
Structure of Things








Metals and Non-Metals
Chemical Equations
Types of Chemical Reactions
Naming of Chemical Reactions
Methods and Means of Balancing Chemical Equations
Balancing Chemical Reactions
Neutralization: Acids/Bases







Chemical Nature of Protoplasm
Cell Structure


Lab Exercises

  1. Nature of Science determination of mass or weight, Operation of a Bunsen burner, Filtering, Conical filtration, and Systems of measurement.
  2. Physical and chemical changes of condensation.
  3. Periodic Table, Computer Excercises.
  4. Elements and Atoms, Computer Excercises, Naming Inorganic Compounds.
  5. Naming of Chemical Reactions, Chemical Reactions
  6. Balancing Chemical Equations
  7. Neutralization
  8. Microscope
  9. Chemical nature of protoplasm properties of enzymes
  10. Cell Structure
  11. Photosynthesis
  12. Respiration
  13. Ecology
  14. Electrophoresis




Lab Safety

Students will be required to work responsibly and safely while in the laboratory. Read the Safety Rules of the Laboratory.




Grading Policy

Lab Report

100 points

First Hour Exam


Second Hour Exam


Final Exam



400 points



Grading Scale

A = 90 - 100%
B = 80 - 89%
C = 70 - 79%
D = 60 - 69%
F = Below 60%



Exams Are Proctored

For acceptable proctors, see exam policy on the net. Exams will be closed book. Two forms of ID will be required to show your proctor. The Exams will be divided into the following sections:

    1. Multiple Choice
    2. True or False
    3. Fill in the Blank
    4. Matching
    5. Essay