Sarah Powell

The following information comes from the named instructor and should describe characteristics general to courses as taught by this instructor. Individual sections of specific courses will deviate from this description in some respects.

Class Format

Face-to-face sections

Lab: Lab classes have approximately 15/20 minutes of introduction and explanation introduce.The rest of the class involves active learning as students perform experiments and collect data. We have 3-4 field trips each semester.

Lecture: The class is more of a flipped format where students doing reading and homework outside of class.  In the class, we do more active and hands on learning to illustrate the ideas learned in the readings.

Resource Use

Textbooks The lab has a manual that should be brought to every class.  In-class active learning requires the student to use the lab manual as an integral part of the course.  I expect students to come to class having read the assigned sections (as outlined in my syllabus) and ready to ask questions regarding the more difficult concepts.   E-books has outside of class readings and quiz homework.

Online homework Online assignments will be used throughout the semester. Review sheets are also posted online.  Timely announcements and an updated calendar/schedule as well as a running record of your grade in the course will be posted online. Students are expected to check their account regularly and often.


Lab:  Students earn their grades through weekly lab reports and participation points (40% of grade).  Also, there are two tests, a midterm and final (60% of grade).

Lecture: Students earn their grade through 4 unit exams and  a cumulative final (70%).  Homework, special project, quizzes and class participation account for the remaining 30%. 

Homework Policy

All homework due dates are announced early in the semester. Most homework will be used in the next class periods and will be required for group work.  Therefore, to be respectful to classmates, it is necessary that all homework assignments are completed. Lab homework is due the week following the completion of the laboratory. Penalties apply for late lab reports submitted.

Attendance Policy

Lab: Attendance is essential. Lab sessions meet once per week. Participation points are awarded in some labs.


Email is the best way to contact me. I’m happy to schedule time to meet with my students