Bodies and biology

Explosions to dissections, studying the stars to studying your body, MC offers a range of science classes that aren’t just basic biology.

“Everyone should take some science, even if you are not going to be a science major,” MC Chemistry professor John Anderson said. “They help you think logically and sharpen critical thinking skills.”

Chemistry is sometimes known as the central science, because chemistry touches on a lot of different areas, according to Anderson. His favorite lab is when students make crystals. One of the main classes available is the classic chemistry which can go two different ways: organic or physical. MC offers inorganic chemistry and introduction to chemistry.

“Chemistry is a fascinating and very interesting subject; you are talking about how and why things react,” Anderson said. “You get to create new compounds, and you are the only person in the world that’s ever seen that particular compound, which is kind of cool.”

MC also offers a non-science major microbiology, in which students study things that are maybe a cell big and learn through cases often written by Hinds.

“We did one case on a kid who was pledging a fraternity, and one of the things he had to do while pledging was drink a gallon of lemonade,” said Claudia Hinds, professor of anatomy and physiology and microbiology. ” Drinking a gallon of lemonade screwed up his pH and there are consequences for that.”

“In regular biology courses, you are talking about things that you can touch and feel so the language of biology is totally different than the language of microbiology,” Hinds said.

For studies of the body, anatomy and physiology is offered as well. Dissections are a prerequisite of the course though so squeamish students may want to avoid this course.

“If you’re interested in understanding your body and the problems we are having with antibiotics, then you want to take both anatomy and physiology and microbiology,” Hinds said.

Classes under the physics category go for the stars, literally. MC offers the courses called stars and galaxies another that studies the solar system. College physics, university physics, and physical science are also in this category as well.

MC offers an array of geology classes that don’t just study rocks. Earth science, environmental science, and meteorology are offered in addition to physical and historical geology.

“Earth science gives a broad base of the Earth and its natural materials and also goes over the weather,” said Joan Gawloski, teacher of physical geology, earth science, environmental science and upper level mineralogy. “My favorite lab is probably in Earth science where we study the purification properties of different mediums such as soil, gravel, or sand.”

“Start at physical geology then go to historical geology which talks from when the Earth cooled to where we are today,” Gawloski said.

MC also does an event called Science Extravaganza that exhibits science in action. Chemistry encompasses 13 demonstrations, dealing with dry ice soap bubbles, one explosion per room, fire starters, color changes, a disappearing stirring rod and others.

Anatomy and physiology displays tissue samples from dissections, hearts and eyeballs.

Microbiology has a whodunit game where all participants are given a card with a scenario telling them their symptoms. The students have to go to different stations that give them information. Some of them survive, some of them don’t. It’s a game of survival and participants really like it, according to Hinds.

Geology will be doing diet Coke and Mentos volcano eruptions.

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