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RHODE ISLAND SCHOOL REPORT

1895

For

RHODE ISLAND BOARD OF EDUCATION

______________________________________________________________
Published by Rhode Island News Company, 113 and 115 Westminster street, Providence, R.I.


DEPARTMENT OF INSTRUCTION

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GENERAL AND AGRICULTURAL CHEMISTRY





Instruction in chemistry begins with the third term of the Sophomore year, and consists of recitations and lectures with laboratory work. This course is continued during the first term of the Junior year; and there is laboratory work in qualitative analysis throughout the year. The second term, Junior year, is devoted to organic chemistry; the third term, to agricultural chemistry, which is continued through the first term, Senior year.

The instruction in agricultural chemistry consists of lectures and recitations with laboratory work upon artificial digestion; analysis of soils, fodders, and fertilizers, milk, butter, and cheese; tests for poisons in the stomichs of different animals; analysis of fruits for sugar, starch, and albuminoids; and the study of chemical changes in soils. Instruction in inorganic chemistry comprises recitations and laboratory work upon Remsen's advanced course in inorganic chemistry. Special illustrations, however, are given in the line of agriculture, physiology, and hygiene, for the purpose of making the chemistry of the farm and kitchen familiar to all. In the chemistry of the halogen conpounds, especial attention is paid to photographic chemistry and manipulation. This prepares the students for a special course in photography, which may be taken as an elective in the study of chemistry.

Text books: Remsen's Inorganic Chemistry (advanced course), Remsen's Theoretical Chemistry, Remsen's Organic Chemistry, Orndorff's Laboratory Manual, Appleton's Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis.

The Freshman class study physical geography during the first term. They pay special attention to scientific phases of it, to the chemistry and geology of the soils, the influence of air and water on the same; and much reading and time are expended on the flora and fauna of the different countries. Warren's Physical Geography is taken as a basic; and Dana's Coral Islands, Shaler's Aspects of the Earth and Dana's Characteristics of Volcanoes, are thoroughly studied during the term. Five hundred lantern slides illustrating ethnological subjects are projected and explained before the class. This course seems especiallly valuable to introduce the students to the scientific studies which are to follow.
 
 

PHYSICS.

The department of physics is now well supplied with apparatus to meet the requirements of this subject. A temporary laboratory has been provided for the practical work, with an apparatus room adjoining. The elementary course, consisting of recitations and laboratory practice, extends through the Sophomore year, and is required of both agricultural and mechanical students. Mechanics and heat are studied in the fall term; magnetism and electricity, in the winter term; sound and light, in the spring term. This course, particularly the laboratory work, is very similar to the Harvard Course B. An advanced course is offered as an elective to students who have satisfactorily completed the elementary course.
 
 

AGRICULTURAL GEOLOGY.

The course in agricultural geology embraces structural, dynamical and historical geology, particular attention being paid to the first mentioned subdivision. A careful study is made of those minerals and rocks of importance in the formation of soils, of the agencies by which their decomposition is effected, and of the compounds which result. In this connection, the instruction is designed to familiarize the student with the desirable mineral and physical features of soils, with those compounds the presence of which is undesirable or which may give rise, to a greater or less degree of soil sterility, and with the means by which such conditions may be avoided or overcome. A proportionate amount of time is devoted to the history of those natural deposits of particular interest to agriculturists; such as, nitrate of soda, the German potash salts, and phosphates of various kinds.
 
 

BOTANY.

The required work in botony for students in mechanics covers two terms; and for students in agriculture, three terms. The first two terms are devoted to the study of a few groups of plants from the lowest to the highest. Flowering plants of economic importance are studied in the third term. Work may be elected by agricultural and mechanical students as indicated in the Courses of Instruction.

During the year, the College has subscribed to Ellis and Everhart's Fungi Columbiani and to Seymour's Grasses and Grass-like Plants of North America. A collection of plants to show devices for the dissemination of seeds has been started by the agricultural students, and a herbarium of plants growing in the vicinity of the College has been begun.
 
 

COMPARATIVE ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY

There have been no changes in the studies pursued in this department since the last report. They are as follows:

First year-- Elementary Anatomy and Physiology through the winter and spring terms.

Third year-- Zoology through the spring term.

Fourth year-- Advanced Anatomy and Physiology, Comparative Anatomy, Comparative Physiology and Microscopic Anatomy through the entire year; Veterinary Science during the winter term; Constitution of the United States, together with State, County and Town Government, through the fall term; Political Economy and Sociolegy through the winter and spring terms; Physiological Psychology through the spring term.

This department has been greatly enriched by the furnishing of ample lecture-rooms, laboratories, and special library. Several thousand dollars have been expended for a synoptical collection for the study of zoology and human and comparative anatomy. In the laboratories are found all necessary conveniences for dissection, mounting and preserving animals, and for embryological, physiological and microscopical work. For purposes of demonstration, there are (1) mounted microscopical objects representing every kind of tissue and cell in the animal system, (2) alcoholic preservations, models in plaster and papier mache, skeletons and stuffed subjects of most of the orders of the amimal kingdom, from a sponge to a man, (4) Leuckart's zoological wallcharts, and other charts and diagrams of our own make, (5) ample blackboard facilities of which much is made, (6) chemical and physical apparatus, (7) all necessary mechanical appliances. The collection of skeletons of all the domestic animals connot be excelled. In the class of birds, there have been added all the species of Rhode Island, comprising some 270 individuals. Those prove of exceptional interest and stimulate inquiry because of their local habitat and more or less familiar mien. In the collection are found the skeletons of the great classes of birds showing striking structural pecularities. It is also proposed to add the nests and eggs of all those species of the collection which nest in the State. It will thus be seen that there is an exceptionally good equipment for teaching the courses in zoology, physiology, and anatomy, both human and comparative, which are so liberally provided for in this College.

Apparatus is being collected for the course in experimental psychology. The course occupies but one term and the time given to experimentation is limited. The demonstrations are simple mechanical appliances to illustrate the sensations and perceptions. But few experiments are attempted on the more complex mental phenomena, which require intricate and costly appliances, much time, and more special training than the College students can summon. The beautiful models and charts of the human brain, spinal cord, and organs of special sense, are most servicable in teaching the mechanism and functions of the great nerve centers. The appliances in this department are so complete as to expedite the study in no small degree. It is believed that a more lively interest is thus created, that more ground is covered, and that a cleared comprehension of this branch is given than could otherwise be done in twice the time allotted to it. The same claim may be predicated of the whole range of biological studies.
 
 

AGRICULTURE.

The work of this department is intended to cover ground both practical and theoretical in agricultural knowledge, not included in other divisions, and to further impress upon the student the application of scientific principles to agriculture. The course for the first year is the same for both agricultural and mechanical students, and aims to begin with such subjects as may be somewhat familiar to them and about which they have some elementary knowledge. One afternoon in each week of the first term of the Freshman year is devoted to the study of farm buildings, their location and convenience of arrangement; farm machinery, its use and care; a discussion of general and special farming with the arrangement of farm buildings and fields for the various kinds of farming, including the subject of fences and fencing. The third term is given to the subject of land drainage; the effect of water upon the soil and growing crops; tile and other methods of draining; how drains act and effect the soil; how to lay out a system of drains; draining-tools and their use; laying tile; silt basin, outlets, and care of tile drains. A little time will be devoted to the history, value, and cost of tile draining. Practical field work is given in laying out drains, leveling, and preparing plans.

The agriculture of the first term of the Sophomore year is assigned to the study of the breeds of live stock--horses, cattle, sheep, and swine; the history, characteristics, and value of each for various purposes, with practice in tracing pedigrees from heard records and in the use of score cards in judging animals. For the study of animals, the stock of the College and Experiment Station as well as the heards of stock breeders in the vicinity are available. Two exercises each week of the first term are devoted to the study of farm crops, their relation to the soil and stock of the farm, their relation to each other, rotations and the planting, cultivating and harvesting of the various crops generally grown.

Two terms of the Junior year are given to the study of soils, manures, and fertilizers. This includes the relation of water, heat, light, and air to the soil as affecting plant growth and crop cultivation. Some time is given to the careful study of the manures made upon the farm: their value, and the best course to pursue in handling them to prevent loss. Chemical and artificial fertilizers as plant food and as chemical agents in rendering inert material in the soil available to plants, receive the consideration due them. The student is taught how to learn what the soil requires and how to compound the material to supply the elements found lacking. The chemical and biological changes constantly taking place within the soil and their bearing upon the supply of available plant food, are considered: and attention is paid to the influences tending to increase their activity.

Senior year agriculture is devoted to the study of the laws of breeding and stock feeding. Such subjects as heredity, atavism, fecundity, in and in breeding, cross breeding, influence of parentage and pedigree, are studied in their relation to the breeding of animals. The latter includes the compounding of feeding rations for specific purposes in the feeding of various classes of animals, and practice in the selection of such waste products used for feeding as will balance the coarse fodders grown on the farm to make a cheap and complete food to produce the most satisfactory results.

The farm, fields, and work of the Experiment Station are at all times available for the purpose of illustration. The students are not required to devote their time to manual labor in the common operations of the farm with which they are already familiar. Skill in manual labor is the result of practice: and once the knowledge of and reason for any certain farm operation is acquired by the student, it is hardly wise for him to spend the time and opportunities of a college course in the acquiring of mere manual dexterity in farm operations. He can easily do that elsewhere. His time here can be used to better advantage.

Agricultural text-books suitable for class use have not yet reached the state of perfection found in those of other lines of study, and the labor of teaching is augmented by the necessity of lectures and the more frequent use of reference books. The College and Experiment Station libraries are valuable for this purpose. Collections of chemicals and fertilizing materials, grains, various commercial foods and by-products are used for the purpose of illustration and instruction.

The text-books used thus far are as follows:--Draining for Profit and Health, Waring; Horses, Cattle, Sheep and Swine, Curtis; Soils and Crops, Morrow and Hunt; Agriculture, Storer; Stock Breeding, Miles; Feeding Animals, Stewart.
 
 

HORTICULTURE.

Seven courses are offered in this department. Regular agricultural students are required to take three of these; the others are elective. Course I as given under Courses of Instruction is of an introductory character. The other courses provide for special study of garden vegetables, ornamental plants, fruits, diseases and insect enemies of orchard and garden plants, horticultural leterature, and landscape gardening.
 
 

LANGUAGES AND HISTORY.

The subjects grouped under this head are English, German, French, Latin, and History.

English--comprising composition, rhetoric, and literature--is studied during the four years. In the Freshman year, a preparatory review is followed by an elementary course of rhetoric. Written exercises are required, and there is a careful reading in the class room of representative works by famous authors, principally American, with the aim of developing early in the students a taste of literature. More advanced work in rhetoric and composition is given during the fall and winter terms of the Sophomore year, and the reading of American authors is continued. The winter and spring terms of the Junior year are devoted to general English literature. English history is studied at the same time, as it is thought impossible to understand an author apart from his age. Individual research is encouraged, and will increase, it is hoped, from year to year. Some attention will also be paid to contemporaneous literature. As far as possible, entire works of the most noted authors are critically read in class. Excercises in composition given opportunity for detailed treatment of special topics. An elective in English literature, designed to supplement the general course, is offered throughout the Senior year; and during the fall and winter terms of the Senior year, students may elect essay writing and orations.

German is required throughout the Junior year and is elective during the Senior year. As far as possible, the language itself is made the medium of instruction, and the subject is studied in grammar work, dictation, conversation, and translation-- from English into German and from German into English. The course is carefully graded. As soon as a small vocabulary is acquired, the student begins the reading of simple prose and poetry, passing gradually to more difficult texts.

French is required during the Sophomore year and is elective during the remaining two years. It is the aim of the department to make the instruction in this language similar to that given in German, with the expection that the results will be greater in consequence of the longer time allotted to the subject. French, like German, is taught by means of grammar, conversation, dictation, transulation, and composition. Progressive work throughout the three years will make it possible for the student at graduation to read with ease ordinary French, both literary and scientific.

Latin is an elective. The course, of four years, is essentially the same as that in the best prepatory schools.

In the fall term of the Freshman year, a careful review is made of American history, followed in the other two terms by outline work in general history. The method is topical. No one text-book is used, but students are taught to consult various authorities and to report upon what they have read. In the Junior year, English history is studied in connection with English literature; and an elective for special historical work is offered throughout the Senior year. A carefully selected library, which is constantly receiving additions, greatly enhances the value of these historical and literaty courses.
 
 

MATHEMATICS AND ASTRONOMY

The required work in mathematics extends through the first two years of the course for students in the agricultural department, and throughout the entire four years for those in the mechanical course. The time devoted to the subject in the Freshman year, is spent in the study of algebra and plane geometry. The work in algebra consists of the systematic drill in the fundamental operations, leading up to a study of the equation, both simple and quadratic, the theory of exponents, radicals, the progressions, the binomial formula, and the graphic representation of equations. Especial attention is given to the expression, by means of equations, of the conditions of a problem, and the exact methods of reasoning involved. In the course in plane geometry, beginning with third term, particular stress is laid upon the original demonstration of propositions, in order best to develop the rigidly logical methods of thought which are the outcome of exact geometrical work. Numerical problems and practical applications are given whenever possible. This course extends through the first term of the Sophomore year and is followed by a course in plane trigonometry during the winter term. The fundimental formulas are developed and application of them is made in the solution of right and oblique triangles. The subject of logarithms is studied and suffecient applications are made to thoroughly familiarize the student with the invaluable aid to computation. It is the aim here, as throughout the course, to select such problems and applications as shall have direct bearing upon practical subjects. Practical work in surveying is given during the spring term and this work is continued through the first term of the Junior year by the agricultural students, while the mechanical students enter upon the subject of analytical geometry, studying first the subject of loci and their equations and the analytical demostration of many geometrical theorems, and later developing the simpler properties of the conies. A short course in descriptive geometry is also given during the first term. A one-term course in solid geometry is given to the mechanical students, in which are studied the point, the line and the plane in space, the familiar polyedrons, the cylinder, cone and sphere, including the measurement of these solid figures. The work in calculus begins with the second term of the Junior year and continues through three terms. It includes the differentiation of algebraic, trigonemetriic, anti-trigonemetric, exponential and logarithmic functions, successive differentation and the integration of simple forms, illustrated by applications to the rectification of plane curves, the area of plane curves and the surface and volume of solids of revolution. The fundamental formulas of mechanics are developed and illustrated. The more familiar devices for integration are studied and a short time is devoted to the interesting subject of curve-tracing.

The primary aim of the entire course in mathematics is to stimulate original work, to insist upon and develop a capacity for clear thinking and logical, systematic reasoning such as will prove invaluable in any department of study or life, as well as to achieve familiarity with such mathematical principles as are necessary for applied work.

A growing reference library affords an oppportunity for wider mathematical reading, the value of which is constantly becoming more fully appreciated by the students.

Several elective courses are offered by the department, and others will be added from time to time as may seem advisable. In pure mathematics courses are offered in college algebra, open to all who have completed the required work in algebra; in modern synthetic geometry, open to all students wh have completed the required courses in algebra and plane geometry; in determinants; and an advanced course in integral calculus, open, of course, only to students who have completed the required work in calculus.

In applied mathematics the department offers a course in surveying and civil engineering, giving opportunity to students who have completed the required work to carry the subject farther; a course in analytical mechancis, open to students who have completed one term of the required work in calculus; a course in astronomy are discussed.

In astronomy, in addition to the course above mentioned, a lecture course in physical astronomy is offered in the spring term of the Senior year, the aim of which is to make the students familiar with the general characteristics of the various members of the solar system, and to emphasize the general laws which govern the universe. A four-inch equatorial telescope, an eighteen-inch celestial globe, a large collection of lantern-slides of astronomical phenomena and a small but carefully chosen reference library, add greatly to the resources of the department.
 
 

MECHANICS.

The object of this department is to give a technical and practical training to those who wish to prepare themselves for mechanical work. The College does not attempt to teach trades, but the courses of shop work that are offered are of the greatest value to a student who may enter a trade after graduation. Workrooms for instruction in bench-work in wood, wood-carving, wood-turning, pattern-making, forging, machine-shop work, and mechanical drawing are provided.

Students in the mechanical department recieve instruction in all of the above branches as a part of the regular four years' course. Students in the agricultural department receive instruction in wood-workking and forging, and may elect other work with the advice and consent of the committee of studies. Young women are given the opportunity to elect wood-carving at any time during the four years' course. During the winter term of three months, the shops are open to receive persons who may wish to enter the College and take up special work of a trade nature in any of the above lines. In addition to this work, these students may take a limited amount of time for the study of any related subject.

The carpenter shop contains benches and tools sufficient to accommodate twenty-four students at one time. The course is designed to give skill and confidence in working the various kinds of wood, and also to impart a fair knowledge of the principles of building and construction. A series of practical lectures upon the art of estimating the cost of various structures and constructions of wood is given to the agricultural students of the Sophomore year. The wood-turning room contains thirteen lathes, each with its complete set of gauges and turning-tools. In the same room are benches for pattern-making, and also power machinery for working wood; such as, circular saw, hand saw, jig saw, surface planer, buzz planer, mortising machine, dowel machine and others. All students take wood-turning and during the period each in turn has practice under the direct charge of the engineer in the care of the shop boiler and engine. This engine is of thirty horse power; and besides furnishing power for the shop, drives a ten K.W. dynamo for lighting the building. The work in pattern-making given to the students in the mechanical department in the Junior year consists of the making of selected pieces to illustrate the principals of shrinkage, draft, finish, core-box making, built up work and the general requirements of pattern-making.

The forge shop will accommodate twelve students at one time. It contains twelve forges and anvils, a stock cutter, a bolt header, a post drill, and is well supplied with all the hammers, tongs, and other forge and anvil tools necessary for complite work. A regular course is followed here as in other lines; and for the students of the agricultural department, the work is of such a nature as would be found about a farm. The various operations of drawing, bending, upsetting, and welding are tought and applied in the making of such useful pieces as staples, hooks, chains, and iron work for farm tools. The students of the mechanical department follow a similar course but in a direction more suited to the machine shop. Bolts, nuts, machine forgings, chisels, and lathe tools are made, and afterward put to practical use.

Only students in the mechanical department work in the machine shop. The course here is designed to give a shure knowledge and intelligent practice in the best modern methods of using the various tools; such as, lathes, planers, drills, milling-machines, and grinding machines. A course of hand work at the bench is offered, and includes instruction in chipping, filing, finishing and scraping. Each student in the machine shop builds a complete machine before finishing the course. Students of former years have made an engine dynamo, speed lathe, full set of arbors, set of nut arbors, and a variety of other tools. A small amount of work is given to the Senior class in experimental engineering. Amoung other things, the students make actual tests of engines and boilers and operate the machinery for testing iron, steel, and cements.

During the spring term of the Senior year, the class in mechanical engineering holds bi-weekly conferences; engineering subjects of general interest are taken up and discussed; and reports of these meetings are handed in, with conclusions. The following are some of the topics considered by the class of "95: Types of Steam Boilers, Furnaces, Boiler Feeders, Fuels, Lubricants, Gas and Heat Engines, Preparation and Use of Wood, Cutting Tools for Metals, Pumping Machinery.

Mechanical Drawing is taught throughout the Sophomore and Junior years. Students are required to keep notebooks, in which freehand sketches are made for models; and these sketches are afterward worked up into finished drawings. The making of working drawings for some machine completes the course. Practice in tracing and blue printing is given to all students. The course in drawing is designed to aid in the corresponding courses of shop work and not to produce professional draughtsmen.

FREEHAND DRAWING AND MODELING--Freehand drawing is taught only in the spring and fall terms. Freshmen begin in the spring term with the study of values from objects and still life, continuing in the fall to draw ans model from casts, with which the department is well supplied. In the Junior and Senior years, students may elect such work as they are prepared to take. Memory sketches of all objects drawn are expected of each student. The sketch class is an interesting feature of the department. This meets for one hour once a week and is conducted by its members, who pose in turn or find a substitute. These time sketches from life, without instruction, are of great benefit to the students, teaching him to note quickly the effect desired. Each student is required to leave at the College a specimen of his work. Modeling is limited to ten or twelve lessons in the Sophomore year. The library of the studio has a good nucleus of art books.
 
 

MILITARY SCIENCE AND TACTICS.

The military department is duly organized under Captain William W. Wotherspoon of the 12th Infantry, who was assigned to duty as Professor of Military Science and Tactics by the President of the United States, by special orders No. 257 from the war department, dated November 1, 1894.

The male students of the College are organized as a company of infantry, which organization it is recommended they hold until an increase in the number of undergraduates will warrant a battalion organization. Of course this does not prevent instruction in both cavalry and artillery; indeed, it prepares the way for it.

The cadets were wholly uninstructed on November 12, 1894, when the military department was organized, and it was necessary to start from the foundation; instruction was therefore given in the school of the soldier, without arms, during the term. Since making the last report, a full set of arms and equipments has been received, and the cadets have been drilled both without arms and in the manual, in addition to the regular infantry and artillery drill. There have been two classes under instruction in signaling, and the Seniors and Juniors have started a course of military science. No effort has been spared to instill into the cadets a sense of the importance of the work undertaken, while producing a proper and healthful carriage of the body and that quickness and readiness to obey which are necessary in a soldier. The progress made in the very limited time has been most satisfactory, and evinces an enthusiasm and intelligence on the part of the cadets which cannot be too highly commended. They have been quick to learn, ready to obey, at all times respectful in deportment and neat in their habits.

The inspections in quarters have resulted in marked improvement in the rooms. All orders have been obeyed; and as the inspections become more rigid, as they will, matters in the dormitory will be much changed.

The cadets have been uniformed at very moderate expense in a neat and handsome uniform of fine blue cloth, consisting of a blouse and trousers cut after the pattern worn by the U.S. naval cadets, with forage caps holding the coat of arms of the State of Rhode Island. This uniform is not only handsome and economical but will last a long time with moderate care. It is recommended that white collars and an overcoat be added to it, and that the overcoat be worn at all times out of doors during the winter. As at present organized, the company has a full set of officers and non-commissioned officers who are zealous and painstaking in their duties and show much promise.

The greatest difficulty found so far in this department has been the weather and the limited space under cover for drill. When the weather would permit, drill has been held out of doors; otherwise, in the temporary shed built for the purpose. No hours have been lost for any cause, however, and the drill hall and gymnasium now proposed will, it is hoped, be finished in time for next winter. When it is finished, the College will be equiped with a drill hall superior to that of any institution of learning in the United States, and with a gymnasium equal to the very best.
 



Transcribers Notes: The spelling and punctuation are as in the book. Misspelling and has not been changed.

Transcribed by Sally Jaquet Roberts
proofed by Danyelle Bowen and Hayzel Bowen


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