Earth And Astronomical Science Current News Assignment


Assignment: Current News in Earth Science and Astronomy This term you will conduct a small “research project” assignment using current news in Earth Science and Astronomy! You will hypothesize, research, read, summarize, and analyze a topic or field in Earth Science or Astronomy gathering “data” or information using a current news article concerning topics in Earth Science and/or Astronomy. Your findings will be shared with the world via our course Facebook page, as well as with our classroom community via Blackboard. To Begin:

• Check the schedule below to see which week you have been assigned. • “Like” the Earth & Astronomical Facebook page. • Follow Steps 1 through 8 below • Submit your Assignment

Step 1 – Get Familiar with the Current News Start by doing a brief search of current news in Earth Science or Astronomy to get an idea of what is going on in these sciences over the last year. Sources can be newspaper articles, magazine articles, or even podcasts. To get you started, I have provided a list of news resources for Earth Science and Astronomy under the “Resources” folder off the main Blackboard menu. These resources are a good place to start getting familiar with science news resources. Step 2 – Choose a Topic & Devise Research Questions Identify an area/field/topic of interest within Earth Science or Astronomy that you are interested in learning more about, or have questions about. Perhaps use your initial news search to help you identify topics you may be interested in! Every good scientific research project starts by asking a few research questions. Begin by posing (not answering…yet!) the following two research questions regarding your chosen topic/field of study:

• Research Question #1: What’s happening in the current news regarding ____(Your topic/field)____?

• Research Question #2: How does ____(Your topic/field/article)____ connect the two

sciences, Earth Science and Astronomy, showing how they are related and dependent on one another?

Step 3 – Your Hypothesis for Research Question #2 Before you pick or fully read your current news article, attempt to answer your second question on your own. Answer your research question #2 by making a hypothesis (an educated guess, including sound reasoning). Use your knowledge learned in the course so far, your life experience, and above all trust yourself! There is no “right answer” here, but your hypothesis needs to be well thought out and use sound reasoning, grounded in the knowledge you have learned in the course so far. Don’t be afraid of “being wrong”, this hypothesis is part of the investigative process and can be expected to be modified or added to after you research the current news. Clearly and concisely write your hypothesis for answering Research Question #2. Your hypothesis should be around 2 – 4 sentences or presented in bullet point format.




Step 4 – Select & Read Current News Article Select a current (within the last year) news article concerning topics in Earth Science and/or Astronomy that you are interested in. Make sure your article is from a reliable source! You want to read the article thoroughly, to learn what is happening in the current news regarding your topic/field of interest. As you read, think about whether the article is based on data or other reliable sources, and whether the article can help you answer your Research Question #2. You may want to read any extra or supporting material the article references or look up definitions, etc. Step 5 – Summarize Article & Answer Research Question #1 Summarize the article and come up with an appropriate title for your summary. Your summary should be clear and concise, giving an overview of the news article in your own words. The title should be unique and reflect your take on the article (think like a newspaper headline). Your summary should be around 1 paragraph in length. Avoid using quotes in your summary. (If you do choose to use direct quotes from the article, make sure the quotes are short and very important to your summary. You must always include the in-text citation for any quoted material or material taken directly from a source other than your own head. Refer to the APA citation guidelines). Step 6 – Answer Research Question #2: Bringing the Two Sciences Together Now that you have summarized the article, it is time to analyze and interpret what you have learned from it and begin to bring the information into perspective regarding your Research Question #2 – How does this topic/field/article connect the two sciences, Earth Science and Astronomy, showing how they are related and dependent on one another? Using the news article, answer your Research Question #2 giving some specific proof grounded in the data or statements from the article and your knowledge from class. Clearly explain how this article/topic/concept connects the two sciences, Earth Science and Astronomy, showing how they are related and dependent on one another. Give 2-3 specific examples either directly from the article or that you explain from what you learned in class or from support research you conducted (cite any extra sources used). If direct concepts from class are not used, give an explanation of how what we are learning in class is relevant to the article. Explain how the content presented from this article can show how Earth Science and Astronomy work together or are dependent on one another. You may need to do some thinking here, and really apply what we have learned in the course so far. 🙂 ** Take a moment to reflect on your initial hypothesis for Research Question #2. Was your hypothesis correct, incorrect, part of the answer, close to the information you learned? Make a brief statement regarding how you initial hypothesis/thought have evolved after your research into the current news. ** You are only expected to include specific proof/concepts from class material taught up to your assigned week (but you are not limited to those concepts of course). Please never hesitate to ask me for help or guidance!! Step 7 – Relate the Article/Findings to Our Daily Life Using what you have learned, clearly address how the topics or ideas in the news article are important in our daily lives. Give at least two examples that other students can relate to their life regarding your chosen topic/field.




Step 8 – References You will have at least one reference, the article you summarized, and likely your textbook if you are using material learned from class. You must include the URL and Author for your article you summarized, using APA format. Make sure to include in-text citations within the article, as well as the citation in the reference/bibliography section, using APA format. **The APA guidelines are provided for you on the course Blackboard page under the Current News Article section. Submit your Summary Submit your summary on Blackboard no later than the end of the week you are assigned (the following Monday at 11:59pm, like all assignments in this course). Your paragraphs from Steps 4-8 will be published on our course Facebook and Blackboard pages as “Current News researched, summarized and analyzed by students”! (Your instructor will publish your research after the review and grading of your assignment). The assignment is worth 100pts towards your final grade! ——————————————————- Basic Outline of Your Assignment: Topic/Field of Interest: _________ Research Question #1: What’s happening in the current news regarding __(Your topic/field)___? Research Question #2: How does ____(Your topic/field/article)____ connect the two sciences, Earth Science and Astronomy, showing how they are related and dependent on one another? Hypothesis for Research Question #2 (~ 1 small paragraph) Title Summary of Article (1 paragraph) Connecting the Sciences – Answer to Research Question #2 (1-2 paragraphs) Connection to Daily Life (~1 paragraph) References with URLs (in APA format) ——————————————————- We will be using Facebook to share our news research and summaries! Make sure to “Like” the Earth & Astronomical Science Facebook page, asap! (Search for: @StudentScienceNews). We will be able to keep up-to-date on current happenings in the sciences together! Feel free to share the page with family and friends. News articles will also be posted on the course Blackboard page for those of you without Facebook accounts.



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