ie-Physical Science

This is a science curriculum project being developed for independent study without a science laboratory.  Read about the significance of the ie-Science Project


Today most scientists work in teams.  But there has always been scientists who, for a variety of reasons, worked alone.  Likewise there are many reasons why learning science as part of a team is superior to learning alone.  But occasionally the advantages of working with others is not possible or practical.  The following is a guide to assist those who want to learn science despite the handicap of isolation.

To learn science alone will involve some danger.  You probably won’t have the benefit of the supervision of an expert in the science being studied or the assistance of peers to make sure you haven’t skipped a step or misunderstood a critical instruction.  So it will be more important than ever to have a parent, friend, or co-worker know what you are trying to do, to be close enough to hear a call for help, and to occasionally check your well being in case an emergency occurs.  The world involves many hazards.  Part of science instruction should help you learn about those hazards and to learn the skills needed to work safely despite the risks.  But practicing to develop those skills must involve risks.

If you do not wish to assume the entire liability for the risks, do NOT undertake learning science alone.  The author, has extensive training in the sciences, has decades of experience as a chemist and physicist, science teacher, and chemical hygiene officer, and has tried to write the following directions to caution you about potential hazards.  But it is probably not possible to foresee all possible errors by students.  It is the student and parents who must decide if the benefits justify the risks of working alone.  If at any point either now or in the future you (or your legal representative) are unwilling to accept the risks, DO NOT PROCEED.

Table of Contents

    First Assignment
Chapter One
Experiment 1-1: Observing
    Why Learn Science
    Writing Formal Reports
Experiment 1-2: Creatively finding Volume
Experiment 1-3: Measuring problems
Experiment 1-4: How much Wasted Space?
Experiment 1-5: Finding Mass
Experiment 1-6: Calibrating a Rider to Improve Accuracy
Experiment 1-7: Determining the Precision and Sensitivity
    Understanding the Past, Present, & Future: 1
    Evaluate & improve: 1
Chapter 7 (coming)
Chapter Two
Experiment 2-1: Mass during Dissolving
    Visualizing the Results: Histograms
    Working with Imperfect Measurements: Significant Figures
Experiment 2-2: Mass during Melting
Experiment 2-3: Mass during a Chemical Reaction
Experiment 2-4: Mass of a gas
    Understanding the Past, Present, & Future: 2
    Evaluate & improve: 2
Chapter Eight
Experiment 8-1: 1
Experiment 8-2: 2
Experiment 8-3: Flame Color
Experiment 8-4: Flame Spectral
Experiment 8-5: Spectra of Sparks
Chapter Three
Experiment 3-1: Temperature during freezing
    Finding patterns in measurements
Experiment 3-2: Temperature during melting
Experiment 3-3: Temperature during boiling
Experiment 3-4: Density of solids
Experiment 3-5: Density of liquids
Experiment 3-6: Density of a gas
    Working with large and small numbers
    Understanding the Past, Present, & Future: 3
    Evaluate & improve: 3
Chapter Nine (coming)
Chapter Four
Experiment 4-1: Dissolving and Concentration
Experiment 4-2: Measuring Concentration
Experiment 4-3: Temperature Effect on Solubility
Experiment 4-4: Organic Solvents
Experiment 4-5: Acids
Experiment 4-6: Two Gases
Experiment 4-7: Gas Solubility
    Understanding the Past, Present, & Future: 4
    Evaluate & improve: 4
Chapter Ten (coming)
Chapter Five
Experiment 5-1: Separation by Size
Experiment 5-2: Fractional Distillation
Experiment 5-3: Separation by Filtration
Experiment 5-4: Separation using Solubility
Experiment 5-5: Paper Chromatography
Experiment 5-6: Mixtures and Pure Substances
    Understanding the Past, Present, & Future: 5
    Evaluate & improve: 5
Chapter Eleven (coming)
Chapter Six (coming)
Chapter Twelve (coming)



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project started 6/24/2002
latest menu revision 5/4/2004
by D Trapp
Mac made