Out-of-Class Projects

You will be required to do five short out-of-class projects. Purchase a folder in which to keep you projects and turn in the completed folder at the end of the semester. You may collaborate with a partner or partners on these projects, but each student must turn in his own folder and own work!

Note: You are expect to do at least two type A projects. Type B projects are expected to be longer reports and will be graded more stringently then type A projects.


Type A projects:

Museum Visit: Visit a science-related museum and write a 2-page-or-so review on the exhibits you saw. The National Air and Space Museum (http://airandspace.si.edu/) is the best candidate for this; in addition to the main museum on the National Mall, you may also visit their Udvar-Hazy annex near Dulles Airport as a separate project. The Maryland Science Center in Baltimore (http://www.mdsci.org/), or the Natural History Museum downtown (https://naturalhistory.si.edu/) , are other good possibilities.

Observatory or Planetarium Visit: Go see the show at a local observatory or planetarium. You must include proof that you did this (e.g. a ticket stub) in your projects folder. Write a short summary of the show. There are planetaria at the Air and Space Museum, the Owens Science Center in Greenbelt (http://www1.pgcps.org/howardbowens/), and at the Maryland Science Center. Local observatories which hold regular open houses for the public include the U.S. Naval Observatory (http://www.usno.navy.mil/USNO/tours-events/tour-information/tour-information-for-usno-washington-dc), and the UM Observatory (http://www.astro.umd.edu/openhouse/).

Type B projects:

Magazine/Newspaper Article Analysis: Read, analyze, and summarize an article on astronomy from a newspaper or a magazine. While the first half of your submission may be a summary of the article, the last half must be your critical analysis. If you can, include the original article (which must be of some length—don’t do a four-page writeup of a one paragraph article) with your summary. Internet articles are OK if they are from a reputable source and of sufficient length. Internet addresses that are of a reputable source are http://www.space.com, http://www.nasa.gov, or Astronomy Picture of the Day. It is possible you will have to read the initial article and some links from the article as well (like in the case of the Astronomy Picture of the Day).

Mini-Research Paper: Pick an astronomy topic that interests you and do a brief (say, 4 page) report on it, citing sources. (Do not merely recopy an encyclopedia article!)

Film/Video Review: Watch a film or video on astronomy (PBS, Discover Channel, etc. {example: COSMOS}) and write a short summary and critical review (at least 4 pages).