Humboldt State University

Robert A. Paselk Scientific Instrument Museum

Science Education at Humboldt During the The Humboldt State Teachers College Period (1921-1934)

In 1921 Humboldt State Normal School was renamed Humboldt State Teachers College and Junior College (Humboldt STC), Homer Arnold (who would become professor of Mathematics and Philosophy and teach Civil Engineering) was hired, and the Administration Building (Founder's Hall) was completed.

The initial catalogs (Circular of Information) for Humboldt STC had no course descriptions for science courses taught at Humboldt. Instead they had an excerpt of the UC Berkeley catalog to show students what was expected and available there. The 1925-26 Circular first describes a variety of science courses apparently taught at Humboldt. The first two permanent science faculty members, Horace Wheeler and Robert Poultney, were also hired at this time. Humboldt was authorized to offer the B.A. degree in 1927, which probably lead to Humboldt's first acquisition of a significant body of scientific instrumentation. By 1932 HSTC had reached an enrollment of 388, and was offering four A.B. degrees, including one in Biology.

I have chosen to provide extracts from the 1927-28 Circular. The Humboldt State Teachers College Circular of Information for College Year 1927-28 listed a Faculty of 23, which included the President, a Dean, the Principle for the training school, an assistant librarian, a librarian/instructor in "recreational reading", the registrar, and a secretary. Of the fifteen primarily teaching faculty, only two were listed as teaching science and mathematics: Horace Wheeler, and Robert Poultney. Homer Arnold, who would be listed as a Professor of Mathematics in the catalog beginning in 1933, was listed as professor of Education from 1921-1932.

The biographical information on these three individuals are taken from the Circular (pp 8 & 9). The photographs are from the first yearbook for Humboldt, Cabrillo, which was published for a single year, 1927.

Arnold portrait photo icon

 

ARNOLD, HOMER L.

 EDUCATION.

Bachelor of Accounts, International Business College, South Bend, Indiana, 1908; B.S., Indiana State Teachers College (Eastern Division) 1911; A.B., University of Indiana, 1915; A.M., University of Chicago, 1917; additional graduate study, University of Chicago, 1917, Stanford University, 1924. Teacher in rural schools1905-9; Principle of consolidated township high school, Carroll County, Indiana, 1911-14; Instructor in Mathematics and Coach Basketball, Central High School, Elkhart, Indiana, 1915-16; Instructor in Mathematics, Central High School, Kalamazoo, Michigan, 1917-18; Principle, Central High School, Kalamazoo, Michigan, 1919-20; Head, Department of Education and Psychology, New Mexico State Normal School, 1920-21. Member of Phi Delta Kappa. At Humboldt since 1921.

Poultney Portrait photo icon

 
POULTNEY, ROBERT H.

 BIOLOGY, NATURE STUDY.

B. S. Cornell University 1914; M. S., Utah Agricultural College, 1926; graduate work at the University of California. Instructor, Rutgers College, New Jersey, 1914-17 and 1919-20; Head of the Department of Biology and Nature Study at the Idaho Technical Institute, Pocatello, Idaho, 1920-26. At Humboldt since 1925.

Wheeler Portrait photo icon

 
WHEELER, HORACE EDWARD

SCIENCE, MATHEMATICS.

A. B., Stanford University, 1921; A. M. Stanford University, 1924; Teaching Assistant in Applied Mathematics, Stanford University, 1921-22; Instructor in Science, Pomona High School, 1922-1923; Modoc union High School, 1923-24. Member Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Lambda Epsilon. At Humboldt since 1924.

 

Coursework

One and a quarter pages of "natural science" coursework (pp 72-3) and one page of mathematics coursework (p 68) appear in the 1927 Circular. OCR versions of these pages are reproduced below.

 

68

 HUMBOLDT STATE TEACHERS COLLEGE
 

 

MATHEMATICS.


C. TRIGONOMETRY.
Subject matter: Elementary trigonometry. Prerequisite: High school algebra and geometry.

Two units, two one-hour periods per week.

D. ALGEBRA.
Subject matter: Quadratic equations, exponents and radicals, practice in the use of logarithms, and theory of equations. This course is designed particularly for those who wish to extend somewhat their knowledge of algebraic theory, and for those who desire proficiency in the technique of algebraic manipulation for the successful (subsequent) pursuit of coordinate geometry, statistics, or theory of investment. Prerequisite: One year of high school algebra.

Two units, two one-hour periods per week.

MATHEMATICS 3 and 4. Introductory note:
A knowledge of calculus (and its prerequisites) enables the student to solve problems concerning variable quantities; precisely as a knowledge of arithmetic or algebra enables him to solve questions concerning constant quantities. Students intending to take up scientific courses should note that calculus is necessary for the solution of many problems which arise in physics and engineering.

COORDINATE GEOMETRY 31
Subject matter: A review of algebra and trigonometry and an introduction to Coordinate geometry. Prerequisite: High school algebra and trigonometry.

Three units, three one-hour periods per week.

3B. DIFFERENTIAL CALCULUS.
Subject matter: A continuation of plane coordinate geometry, a study of differential calculus and an introduction to integral calculus. Prerequisite: mathematics 3A or equivalent.

Three units, three one-hour periods per week.

4A. INTEGRAL CALCULUS.
Subject matter: A review of differential calculus and study of integral calculus. Prerequisite: Differential calculus

Three units, three one-hour periods per week. .

4B. INTEGRAL CALCULUS. (Cont'd.)

Subject matter: Space coordinate geometry, calculus of three variables, infinite series, introduction to differential equations and applications of integral calculus to problems in geometry, physics, and engineering. Prerequisite: Mathematics 4A.

Three units, three one-hour periods per week.

 

72

 HUMBOLDT STATE TEACHERS COLLEGE
 

NATURAL SCIENCE.


Agriculture.

1. ELEMENTARY AGRICULTURE
A study of general agricultural problems which students will meet in teaching in rural communities.

Three units, three one-hour periods per week.

Biology.

BIOLOGY 1A.
Lecture and laboratory courses designed to give to the student the fundamental principles of biology. Study is made of protoplasm, the living substance; the cell, the unit of biological structure, the one-celled organism; the many-celled plants and animals; the manufacture and utilization of food; growth; waste, elimination and death of organism.

Three units, two one-hour and one two-hour periods per week.

BIOLOGY 1B.
This course is a continuation of Biology 1A. It is a lecture and 1 laboratory course including a study of growth and reproduction in plants and animals, the physical basis of heredity, the laws of heredity, the evidences and theories of organic evolution, man's place in nature and biology and human progress.

Three units, two one-hour and one two-hour periods per week.

101. GENETICS.
Lectures and discussions on the laws of heredity and their relation to the improvement of plants and animals and the human race. Special reference will be made to the inheritance of mental traits in man.

Three units, three one-hour periods per week.

102. GENERAL ANTHROPOLOGY
Study of the origin and antiquity of man; man as an animal, races And race problems and earliest culture and growth of language and religion

Three units, three one-hour periods per week.

Chemistry.

1A. GENERAL INORGANIC CHEMISTRY.
Subject matter: The theories and principles underlying modern chemistry. Prerequisite: High school chemistry.

Five units, three one-hour lecture periods and two three-hour laboratory periods per week.

1B. GENERAL lNORGANIC CHEMISTRY (continued).

Subject matter: The qualitative properties of the several elements and their compounds; the chemistry of various industrial processes and commercial preparations. Prerequisite: Chemistry 1A.

Five units, three one-hour lecture periods and two three-hour laboratory periods per week.

 

 HUMBOLDT STATE TEACHERS COLLEGE

 73

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(courses in geography and nature study to be offered in the 1927 summer session were listed here)


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Physics.


1A. Mechanics, Heat, and the Properties of Matter. Prerequisite: high school trigonometry required; high school chemistry or physics is recommended.

Five units, three one-hour lectures, two three-hour laboratory (or office) periods per week.

1B. Wave, Motion Sound, Light, Introduction to Electricity. Prerequisite: High school physics and trigonometry; or else Physics 1A.

Five units, three one-hour lectures, two three-hour laboratory (or office) periods per week.


HSTC Instrument Inventory

 HSTC icon
HSTC (1921-34)<
HSC 35-53 icon
HSC (1935-1953)
HSC 54-73 icon
HSC (1954-1973)

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© R. Paselk
Last modified 3 September 2010