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Physical Sciences

Chemistry Instructor and student in lab

Mission Statement

The Weatherford College Physical Sciences Department will strive to perform the following goals: 

  • To provide students with rigorous and comprehensive courses that allow them to perform at a high level using critical thinking, empirical and quantitative reasoning, creative thinking, innovation, and inquiry to evaluate and synthesize information. 
  • To foster curiosity and excitement about the physical world and provide an exciting learning opportunity for science and non-science majors. 
  • To prepare undergraduates for graduate studies or technical careers. 
  • To provide service and outreach activities to the college and broader community.

Ongoing Departmental Projects

Departmental Collaboration

The Physcial Science Department actively partners with the Life Sciences and other departments in the following activities: 

Stemania students

  • Earth Day
  • STEMania
  • Science Club

 

 

 

 

 

Mini Course Trips 

Students at Big Bend national Park

Lori Gouge leads a geology mini course (GEOL 1403 & 1404) in which the students receive five hours college credit in both geology (4), and camping and hiking (KINE1102 (1))  Students experience an adventure in remote locations that are geologically significant.  These include: Big Bend National Park, Guadulupe Mountains National Park, Palo Duro Canyon, Davis Mountains State Park, and many others. 

Newberry Cabin

landscape image of Newberry Cabin

In 2016, the Physical Sciences Department partnered with the Doss Heritage and Culture Center to archaeologically study and excavate a log cabin in western Parker County. The Newberry Cabin, built in 1874, provides a window into the past for students in our Intro to Archaeology course. Moving forward, students will have an opportunity to experience genuine hands-on archaeological excavation, survey, and artifact study. We continue to foster a partnership with The Doss. In addition, we have partnered with the Texas Archaeological Society, Tarrant County Archaeology Society, and the Texas Historical Commission.  They provide an insight into a rich history of our cultural past and provide mentoring opportunities.  

Digging Down

sifting through dirt at site learning around dig site

Weatherford College Mammoth 

In the summer of 2017, Lori Gouge, Will Seigler, and students excavated a full grown Columbian bull mammoth found on private property north of Weatherford. The landowners graciously donated the tusks, teeth, and bones to Weatherford College. Each tusk fragment was four feet in length and after plastering for transport, weighed several hundred pounds. In addition, a spearpoint was found in near proximity to the bones, stirring a lot of excitement among Texas archaeologists. The spearpoint, along with the arrangment of the bones, and some possible tool marks were enough to justify the official registration as an archeological site for the State of Texas.  

The process of cleaning, consolidating and preserving the tusks and bones has just begun. As we continue, it will take many semesters to prepare this mammoth for display. In the mean time, students are enriched with the hands-on experience of working on the specimens. This process parallels any paleontological  project going on today.   

Solar Seasonal Project

James Mellott is in the process of completing a solar seasonal project in the second floor atrium of the Academic Building of the Weatherford Campus. He has calculated the positions of the winter and summer solstices and both equinoxes. These positions will be marked in such a way that students will be able to observe the march of the sun through the sky each year. 

Solar Eclipse Viewing Event

Coming again in April, 2024.

Physical Sciences Display Cabinents

Display cabinets in atriumThe Physical Sciences Department has acquired many specimens of rocks, minerals, archaeological artifacts, and fossils. The specimens, which are suitable for display, are catalogued and identified for record keeping. The on-going project involves the creation lables for all of the displays for both students, and faculty and staff. Many of our specimens have been graciously dontated by members of our community. Other specimens have been collected in the field. 

 

Presentations given at professional conferences by students

Our Physics Department has added significant student research: one poster and seven oral presentations. Undergraduate research is important to foster a new engineering program for us to stay competitive with surrounding community colleges. 

  • Joint Fall 2017 Meeting of the Texas Section of the APS, Texas Section of the AAPT, and Zone 13 of the Society of Physics Students 
  • 2018 Joint Fall Meeting of the Texas Sections of APS, AAPT and Zone 13 of the SPS 
  • 2018 Joint Spring Meeting of the Texas Sections of APS, AAPT, and Zone 13 of the SPS 
  • 2019 Joint Spring Meeting of the APS Texas Section, Texas Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) and Zone 13 of the Society of Physics Students (SPS)