ASTR110G 

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Extra Credit Opportunities

This page will be updated throughout the course of the semester, as new opportunities arise.

All extra credit work write-ups must be submitted by no later than Tuesday, December 2. They must be either e-mail messages (plain text), PDF-format attachments to e-mail messages, or shared Google Documents (like lab reports). Please do not attempt to submit MSWord documents, for example.

You may complete up to three extra credit activities throughout the semester. Each activity is worth up to 0.6% towards your overall course grade. Reading an approved science or science fiction book is worth double, because of the amount of time involved.

1. One way to obtain extra credit for this class is to is to participate actively in the threaded class discussions. If you contribute substantively to discussions and help your fellow students to solve problems and learn new astronomical concepts, we will recognize your efforts at the end of the semester.

2. You may attend an observatory open house or night time observing party. Discuss what you saw through the telescopes and/or what you learned from the speaker in a two to three page write-up.


3. You may read one of the following science fact or science fiction books, one that you have not read previously. Afterward, discuss in a two to three page write-up your reaction to the material presented in the text. Many of these books are classics, and can be checked out from your local library. You may propose alternative books that you find of interest, related to astronomy and space. We will give reading a book twice the weight of watching a film or hearing a talk, to encourage you to select a book of interest.


4. You may watch one of the following astronomy outreach films, as part of an NMSU astronomy education project to encourage the public to engage with science and technology. Show the short (roughly eight minute) film to at least two other people, and then discuss in a two to three page write-up your and their reactions to the material presented in the film. Your viewers may be children or adults; we are interested in how both age groups respond to the stories that our diverse stars have to tell.


5. You may watch one of the following astronomy-related films or series, one that you have not seen previously. Afterward, discuss in a two to three page write-up your reaction to the material presented in the film. You may propose alternative films that you find of interest, related to astronomy and space.


6. You may listen to a complete recording of the orchestral work The Planets, written by Gustav Holst. The composition is divided into a series of pieces, each one dedicated to one of the planets in the solar system. The music attempts to interpret the historical symbolism and cultural significance of the planets (Mars, for example, is characterized as the Bringer of War).

Afterward, discuss in a two to three page write-up your reaction to the music. For example, which piece brought the most emotion out of you? Which was your favorite? Which conveyed strong feelings for the planet most clearly? If you were to write a similar piece for Pluto, what emotions would you try to invoke in the audience, and how would your music sound?