PHYS 001 Project Guidelines
There will be two projects due this semester, and the first project has two components. These are college projects and are expected to reflect that. For example, do not submit a first draft – any college work should have gone through several serious revisions before even considering submitting it.
Project I: Physics, Physicists and Society.
In this project, you will focus on human beings who have made contributions to physics, and the societal impact of physics discoveries or technologies developed from physics. While collaborative (groups of 3-4), each person gets an individual grade for two separate components:
Part A. Each person researches the same topic using a different resource (must be a serious source: e.g., a book, NOVA show on video, etc. – not website, Wikipedia page, or children’s book!) and then shares what they found with their group to build a community resource of knowledge. As a group you should start by choosing what resources you will use and determining reasonable and equitable assignments (about 200-250 pages). For a long biography, for example, it may be appropriate for one person to take the first half and another to take the second half. Or it may be that only certain chapters of a book are relevant.
Each person turns in a separate document consisting of the “index card notes” they took on their resource. In particular focus on the questions asked in part B, keeping in mind that your group will be focusing on these components in the second part of the project. Your report must have contributions to each of these areas. When you find an idea that will be useful to record, note the page number (or for a video, the time) and give a summary of the idea in your own words (distill a paragraph or page on the idea into a sentence or two of your own). If there is a brief beautiful quotation (you would only have a few), you can include that, too, being sure to enclose it in quotation marks to mark it as a direct quotation and not your own phrasing of the idea. (Note: If your report contains nothing more than what could be found on Wikipedia or similar sites, it will not be accepted.) This document should be 3 full pages (single spaced within each item, with a single blank line between items, 1” margins, 11-12 point standard font). On the top, list your source (e.g., title, author, year for a book; for another type of source, there must be enough information that it could be easily found by the reader) and how you accessed it.
It is important that you put the ideas from the book in your own words. If you can distill the ideas into your own words, then you show some understanding of it; if you only give direct quotations, then you are just pulling quotations, not ideas; if you give direct quotations without marking them as direct quotations, you are plagiarizing (see the Academic Integrity policy in the syllabus). Taking a direct quotation and just changing a few words is not putting the information in your own words and will be considered plagiarism.
Be sure to record the meaning of the information you have collected. For example, if you record “Scientist X and scientist Y had a feud”, this is useless information. What was the feud about? What positions did they take and why? Similarly, do not record anything that you don’t understand what it means – or better, figure out what it means and then record your understanding (in your own words). Part A is graded based on your selection of what to record (is it important, relevant?) and how well you record it in a way that will be useful to your group members (is there meaning to it or is it just a fact with no context or explanation?).
Part A Grading:
· 10 points – Proper formatting (page number, and distilled idea)
· 10 points – Proper length (3 pages single space with blank line between notes) and proper citation of source
· 30 points – Notes cover all required topics: Social context, Consequences and Significance, Connections, and Bibliographical information
Part B. Each person in the group picks a different aspect of the topic to report on, drawing upon everyone’s research, as well as additional background research, to make his/her individual component of a group report:
Social context report (2-3 pages + references or 400 word Powerpoint+references): What was going on at this time in the broader world? What motivated this work? What problem was this work attempting to solve and why did it matter?
Consequences and Significance report (2-3 pages + references or 400 word Powerpoint+references): What were the consequences of this work? What was its immediate and long-term significance? What were its impacts on other scientific work, on society, on our view of the world, on our lives today?
Connections Concept Map (one large poster sheet, references on back) – visually show how this work/person is connected to numerous other things, events, etc. 200 words minimum.
Physics as a Human Endeavor (2-3 pages + references or 400 word Powerpoint+references): General biography of person (or people doing this work). Whose work influenced them / on whose work was their work built? What challenges did this person face in doing the work? How was their work received by their peers and the world as a whole?
Each person just does one of these reports , so if you only have three members in a group, then only three of the reports will be done by members of the group. (Written projects should be single spaced, 1” margins, 11-12 point standard font, OR a power point presentation of 400 words minimum)
Additional background research may be needed to fully explain some of these related components – for example, if there is a reference to, say the Art Nouveau movement, you should make sure you know what that was so you can make sense of it in the context of your report. (Wikipedia is fine for this background research on related topics – but not for researching the main topic itself.)
You must include a bibliography of all sources actually used (do not include any source not used – “bibliography padding” will result in reduction of your grade) and cite all information (especially direct quotations) in the text itself – e.g., “(Author, page #)”. Remember, copying text directly without quotation or citation is a violation of academic integrity due to plagiarism.
Part B Grading:
· 10 points – Proper formatting (length, name, tell me which project you are doing)
· 10 points – Proper citation of sources
· 10 points – General Background of person/topic touching on biographical and historical/social, and impact
· 20 points – Details for your specific project depending on which report you chose (biographical, societal, connections or consequences)
Project Description is due September 14. Submit your group members , topic, and books/resources you will be using by 11:59 pm on Friday, September 14 via Canvas . It is your responsibility to find a group and select a topic. I will deduct 10% of the total possible points for each day any item (including the proposal) is past due. You are expected to have looked at these sources enough beforehand to make sure these sources are appropriate – any egregiously bad proposed sources (indicating you just picked the first things that came up in a search) will result in a reduced grade.
Part A is due by Friday, October 5. Turn in to me in class on paper or online via Canvas. (And of course, each person in the group gives their part A paper to all other members of the group as well.)
If you cannot find a book in the library, these books are all available on the web (e.g., Amazon). I did not assign an expensive textbook ($75) for this course, so you could afford to purchase a book for these projects if needed.
Extra Credit: There are a limited number of slots available for 3-5 minute presentations during class for 1% extra credit.
Citations: All projects must include a list of references used. I look at this page very carefully. Not citing a source used is a very serious violation of academic integrity and can result in a zero on the project or in the course. In addition, do not include references you did not use just to make the reference list longer (it’s usually painfully obvious and is also an academic integrity violation). See the syllabus for academic integrity violation procedures (in summary – don’t even think about doing it).
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