AE120:Course Syllabus

Course Syllabus

AE 120

Spring 1999

Randall Hopkins, 238 Hardaway Hall. Phone: 348-4003

Office Hours:
MWF 10:00 - 11:00 AM; other times by appointment.

4 credit hours. Provides pre-service teachers an opportunity to develop scientific literacy through an interdisciplinary, problem solving science course.

Textbooks (required):
Dickinson, T. (1998). Nightwatch, An Equinox Guide to Viewing the Universe, Camden House.
Sunal, D. (1998), Model of Nearby Space, Tuscaloosa: The University of Alabama, Academic Publishing Services.

Other materials:
Star and Planet Locator, scissors, one 3.5 inch computer disk, calculator, protractor, drawing compass, large 3-ring binder, 30 centimeter ruler

Course Content:
The course is composed of three units: (1) the earth in space, (2) space flight and aircraft flight, and (3) atmospheric science and weather. In addition, each student is required to participate in several out-of-class activities, including a field trip to the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, a visit to a local elementary school, and a trip to the Tuscaloosa airport (and others as necessary).

Course Purpose:
The course is designed to facilitate reflective thinking and problem solving in participants. It will focus on the development of 1) a meaningful understanding of basic science concepts and principles, 2) the use of science knowledge in engineering design problems, 3) critical thinking skills, and 4) an appreciation of science as part of the daily life of a scientifically literate professional in American society. The course examines global issues and interrelationships involved in the interdisciplinary area of aerospace science.

Class Activities:
The sequence of course activities will reflect science through exploration of the problem, invention of solutions, an expansion on the solutions through application in a number of situations. Thus, lab activities and class discussion will be followed by additional activities and lecture and concluded with simulations, field trips, and problem activities. Material assigned for a given class must be read or completed prior to that class. Each participant will contribute regularly to the subject matter or issue at hand in class sessions. Participants are expected to make class contributions based not only on their past experience, but also on the basis of their readings each week, recent class activities, and reflection on natural phenomena experienced using their own curiosity. Also, each class member will be assigned to be an active member in a number of group projects.

2 regular exams 300
the best five of seven short (30 minute) quizzes 100
2 portfolios of in-class activities (see below for a description) 100
2 observing sessions (see below for a description) 50
Mission to Mars guided design project (see below for a description) 150
Elementary School Lesson (see below for a description) 50
Field Trip (see below for a description) 50
mandatory comprehensive final exam 200
total number of points 1000

Dropping Grades:
No exam grade may be dropped. At least seven quizzes will be given, with the best five quiz grades being counted.

Portfolio of activities:
The portfolio contains two section, each weighted equally: (1) a collection of the in-class worksheets that you and your group complete during the semester, and (2) a collection of resources, articles, internet pages, or essays relating to class material that you think are important. I suggest a large 3-ring binder with at least one pocket inside. Prior to the due dates, I will provide you a detailed list of what should be in the portfolio. Grading: emphasis on effort and completeness.

Mission to Mars:
This is a guided design project in which you will create a purpose for sending people to Mars, determine when to launch, determine how long they will stay and what they will do, and determine when to return to earth. This is a group project that does not have to be typed. Grading: appearance, technical competence, grammar, and completeness.

Observing Sessions:
At least three times this semester, we will meet in the evening at Muny-Sokol Park so that we can observe the night sky and learn about the general movement of the stars and the planets and the locations of several constellations. Students must attend at least two of these sessions, usually beginning about 6 PM and lasting 1 hour.

Field Trip:
Participation is mandatory. Usually we take a Saturday tour of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville. Typically, we leave Tuscaloosa at 8:00AM Saturday and arrive back in Tuscaloosa at 6:00PM. Alternative assignments are possible in the event of EXTREME hardships, but these assignments are equivalent to field trip activities in time for completion (they are long - not unfair, just equivalent).

Elementary School Lesson:
Each semester the class visits a local elementary school and gives a science lesson. AE120 students are responsible for preparation of all materials and for the class organization necessary to effectively deliver the desired lesson content.

Attendance Policy:
Attendance at all classes is required. Most of the learning experience in this type of class is in the group activities, so it is very important that each student participate. Therefore, the following penalties will be assessed on your FINAL COURSE AVERAGE:

number of unexcused absences penalty

1 - 3 0

4 - 5 2 each

6 - 8 5 each

9 + 10 each

Except for the observing sessions, missed out-of-class activities will be scored as "0" unless the student presents a university-recognized excuse and completes the alternative assignments (which are roughly equivalent in complexity and time to the out-of-class activity) within 7 days of returning to class.

Make-up Exams:
You must call PRIOR to the exam time if you are unable to attend a scheduled exam or you forfeit your right to a make-up. Missed exams can only be made up in the event of a university-recognized excuse. Exams must be made up within 7 days (1 week) after the student returns to class or a grade of "0" will be given. It is the student's responsibility to schedule a make-up exam.

Make-up Quizzes:
Missed quizzes will count as dropped quizzes (you can drop two) until the limit is reached. Afterwards, they will be scored as "0." No quizzes will be made up.

Late Assignments:
Assignments are considered late if they are not handed in to either the instructor of the departmental office by 4:45 PM on the due date.

For individual assignments, a deduction of 10% of the maximum score will be assessed for each day late.

For group assignments, a deduction of 20% of the maximum score per day after the first day late will be assessed.

Course Schedule: (Tentative)
1/06 - Course Introduction / Divide into groups / First exercise
1/08 - The Learning Cycle / Video
1/11 - Class photos / Begin first unit: The Earth in Space
1/13 - Attendance is taken from this day until the end of the semester
1/18 - HOLIDAY
1/20 - Begin "Mission to Mars" guided design project.
2/03 - LAST DAY TO DROP A CLASS without grade determination
2/12 - First unit, The Earth in Space, is completed.
2/15 - EXAM I (covers "The Earth in Space") / Portfolios due
2/17 - Begin second unit: Space flight and aircraft flight.
3/02 - LAST DAY TO DROP without special permission
3/25 - Complete second unit
3/26 - NO CLASS
4/07 - Complete second unit.
4/09 - EXAM II (Covers "Space flight and aircraft flight") / Portfolios due.
4/12 - Begin third unit: Atmospheric Science and Weather.
4/16 - NO CLASS (Honor's Day)
4/23 - "Mission to Mars" assignment due. Third unit complete. ALL ALTERNATIVE / MAKE-UP ASSIGNMENTS DUE.
4/30 - Classes end

Final Exam:
Friday, May 7, 2:00 - 4:30 PM.

Dates of Out of Class Activities:
Field Trip to U.S. Space & Rocket Center ____________________
Trip to local school ____________________
Trip to Airport (counts as a quiz) ____________________
Observing Sessions (you must attend two or complete alternative assignments)
____________________, ____________________, ____________________