Class Projects

You may do a maximum of 5 of the following projects. You must do at least 2 Laboratory Exercises, and 1 News Media Review. Each project has a point value listed for it. Be sure that the projects you choose to do add up to at least 100 points. If you do a combination that adds to greater than 100 points that's fine, but 100 is the maximum possible points for the class projects. They will be due in two week intervals. Each project has a specific due date. The first project due date is Monday, June 3rd, the second is Monday June 17th, and the last is Monday, July 1st. You must turn in at least 1 project on each date. They are due at the beginning of class on each date.

'Laboratory' Exercises

Follow the links to read about the individual labs.

Science Fiction Movie Review

(15 points each)

It's in the title 'Science Fiction'. But, how much science is there really in Science fiction? Sometimes there's a great deal more fiction than science. That seems to especially be the case in most Hollywood sci-fi movies. In this project you will choose and watch a sci-fi movie from the list below and write a 2 page (minimum, typed and double-spaced) review of it. In your review please do the following:

  1. Briefly summarize the plot
  2. Give at least 2 examples of correct physics and astronomy in the movie
  3. Give at least 2 examples of incorrect physics and astronomy in the movie (shouldn't be that tough).
  4. Discuss whether or not the same story could have been told without the science elements.
  5. Give the movie a rating out of a 5-star scale (5 being best, 1 being worst)
You may do this project twice, reviewing 2 different movies for a total of 30 points.

Book Report

(30 points each) - due 7/1

For this project you will read a book from the list below and write a report on it (4 pages minimum, double-spaced). They are a mixture of science books written for a general audience and science fiction novels. Your report should summarize the book as much as possible. If it is a sci-fi novel, review the science in it. Are there any science mistakes? What aspects of the book were you able to better understand after having taken this course? Was the science necessary to the plot? For the non-fiction books discuss what you learned from them and how it relates to things you have learned in this course.

News Media Reviews

(20 points each) - due 6/3, 6/17, 7/1

Astronomy is one of the News Media's favorite sciences on which to report. You will often see articles in daily and weekly newspapers about astronomy. The television media often report about celestial events such as eclipses and alignments as well as new pictures from space telescopes. Now the internet has its own news services and they seem as interested in astronomy as ever. How accurately do they report? In this project you will read an article from any print or electronic media or watch any television news broadcast about astronomy. Write a review of the article or broadcast and how well the journalist(s) did at explaining the topic (2 pages minimum, double-spaced). Identify at least 3 topics within the article or broadcast that we have discussed in Astro 10. Would you have known whether or not the article was accurate if you had not had Astro 10? Be sure to provide me with a paper copy of the article or a video tape of the broadcast along with your review.

Here are some useful links for this project:

Back to Main Page