Honors ASTRONOMY 2015/16

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Honors Astronomy, But Were Afraid To Ask!

The following is an introduction to the HONORS Astro Final Project 2015. The general topic is "Modern Cosmology". What does that mean? Cosmology is the study of the Universe (the Cosmos). So, "Modern Cosmology" is a topic that entails our current (Modern) views and theories on the origin, evolution, structure, and future of the Universe. So, basically, it's a project on everything. That's all...

Here are some of the details:

  1. Overall Daily Operations
    1. MOST work will be completed in Rm 947, our Science Computer Lab. If needed, Media Center has to do.
      • Keep an eye on the Honors Astro Calendar at the class website so you know when I expect you in our regular classroom, 945, for specific lessons.
      • MANDATORY attendance is recorded online at HONORS Astro Attendance. NO EXCUSES.
  2. You are required to report your progress daily. This can be done individually or as a group. Google Form via "Attendance Form" is sufficient.
  3. Topic Specifics
    1. Overall topic is wide and complex. However, since there are several of you, decide early how you want to attack this.
    2. Modern Cosmology entails, but is not limited to, the following specific topics.
      • Big Bang Theory; where it all began. Relatively solid and lots known about it.
      • Early Universe; Conditions of the first few seconds, days, years of the Universe.
      • Evolution of the Universe; How did it change from the conditions of the Early U to what we see today, 13.7 Billion years later?
      • Newtonian vs Einsteinian Physics; Newton was right for so long. However, what happened, what was observed to push him aside and believe Einstein?
      • Evidence for Dark Matter and Dark Energy; These are the two topics that keep Astronomers and Astrophysicists up at night.
      • End of the Universe; How will it all end?
      • Odd-Ball Astronomy; Gamma Ray Bursts (Swift & Fermi), The "Great Wall", The "Great Attractor", The "Parallel Universe" detected in Nov 2015,
  4. Timeline & 'DUE' dates...
    1. MONDAY [DAY F] 04/18/2016 - General outline [5pts]. Simple, short, should include topic & how you will go about presenting it. If different groups, need an outline for each group. ONE REPORT PER GROUP!
    2. WEDNESDAY [DAY D] 04/27/2016 - FORMAL Short presentation to the Regular ASTRO class [10pts]. 5 minutes of EVERYTHING you have found and where you are thinking of going. Treat this like a "commercial" for your new TV show called "The Big Bang Theory"... Even though that title is already taken...
    3. TUESDAY [DAY H] 05/03/2016 - Rough DRAFT [15pts]! This is a fully detailed typed / online / digital account of your Project. MUST include:
      1. Full script of your presentation. This means a complete timeline!
      2. Printed slide outline of your PPT. (Learn how to print it using 6 or 9 slides per page AND in grayscale...)
      3. Full timeline. I need to know exactly how long your presentation will take.
      4. Printed version of your Presentation Handout, if used.
    4. FRIDAY [DAY C] 05/06/2016 - FINAL DRAFT [20pts] This is a fully detailed typed / digital / FORMAL account of your Project. MUST include EVERYTHING!
    5. MONDAY 05/09/2016 - Full presentations begin [50pts]. These presentations are to be treated like YOU are the teacher and we are the students...

Basic Project Help


  1. Presentation
    1. Graded on rubric BY THE AUDIENCE - your friends and classmates.
      1. Presentation Definition: Is the presentation clearly defined and does the content follow the title.
      2. Presentation Design: Appealing? Consistent? Readable? Easily followed?
      3. Data Presentation: MUST introduce data in the form of either numbers or concepts. If numbers, fine. If concepts, cool. Keep in mind this is a Fizzix/Astronomy project.
      4. Data Analysis: Must explain and correct any data presented in #4 above. If numbers, must show equations/real numbers. If concepts, correct ideas must be explained.
      5. Conclusion: Does the presentation have a clear conclusion? Are you left hanging scratching your head asking, "What the heck just happpened?"
      6. Validity: Is the stuff presented believable? Did the presenter convince you of his/her/it's ideas?
    2. Class grade stands unless I disagree ALOT!
  2. Participation: Didja do yer work or goof off for 6 weeks?

Updated 04/07/2016

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