Chemistry is a branch of science defined not so much by what it studies—indeed, there is no material substance or material process beyond its scope—but by the scale of its study. Chemists seek to understand the material world around us by looking at its composition, down to its smallest elements: atoms and the particles within them. By understanding the properties and forces that govern these particles, chemists are able to both explain and predict the behavior of the matter in our universe. This course will introduce students to both the fundamentals and the history and evolution of this fascinating field.

Biology is the “science of life”—a broad definition for a broad and ever-expanding field, and one that is based primarily on observational and empirical evidence, although its origin can be traced back to the natural philosophy of ancient Greece. In this course, students can expect to study everything from the function of biological molecules to the integration of the global ecosystem. In addition to learning the fundamental principles of biology, students will also become knowledgeable about its social, economic, and political significance. This is an introductory course, so a background in biology or science in general is not required.


This course offers you a tour of the night sky and the constellations and other objects we can see in the heavens during each of the four seasons of the year. The goal is to give you a foundation for navigating the sky on your own with a pair of binoculars or a small telescope. Along the way, you will also learn about the sciences of cosmology and astronomy and a bit about the mythology of ancient peoples. We selected Our Night Sky for our curriculum, partly in tribute to Aristotle who wrote that  "Wisdom begins in wonder." Nothing quite stirs wonder like viewing the myriad stars and countless galaxies of the vast night sky. It inevitably fills us with wonder and awe - "What are we? What are we a part of? Where are we going?" So the ancients wondered. This was also recognized in the Integrated Humanities Program ("IHP") at the University of Kansas in the  1970s, by Profs. Senior, Quinn and Nelick, in that famous program, the motto of which was Nascentur in Admiratione - "Let them be Born in Wonder." Philosophy is thus born, and so this course could be placed under the heading of either philosophy or science.