Individual Topics Day 1 scenario



There are five class days for the individual project.  On the first one EVERYONE will present a one minute summary of what they are doing.

As they say in theater, “here is your scene”:


Someone comes up to you at a party, during a coffee break, ... (a college friend, your parent, your boss, etc. a person with an unknown amount of astronomy knowledge, but with a passing knowledge of science.) They ask: 


“I hear you have been studying ‘string theory’ (or whatever your topic is).  I have always been interested in that.” 


You have one minute to say something interesting, correct and maybe a bit impressive. (No props no pictures; just talk.) After that time they are going to ask you one question (one of your classmates will play this part) and you don’t want to look entirely stupid answering it. You have one minute to answer the question.


In class, after each one minute summary, one of you will be called on to ask an intelligent question.  Then floor will be opened to ask one more question.


You will get grade credit for asking a good question when you are called on.

If you would like to look at the topics and who will be addressing them in preparation to asking a question they are here.


When you prepare your summary think about the most interesting thing you have to say, the ‘hook’, so to speak.  Make sure your audience understands enough to know why it is so interesting. That does not mean you have to leave it to the end.


For example you could say:  Did you know that the Universe might have more dimensions that the three we see every day?  I just read that physicists studying something called string theory say the universe might have SEVEN MORE dimensions, but that they are twisted up like a pretzel, only billion of billion of times smaller than a proton. (Then go on to elaborate, so that it makes more sense.)


After you do your work and write your paper, when you prepare for class I want you to think about the hundreds of times this is going to happen to you over the next four years. During college you are going to learn a lot, and not all of it is going to come out in your job interviews. In every day encounters people you meet will expect that you have learned quite a bit in college and, unless you are totally shy, you are going to mention some of it in passing, and then you are likely to get one minute to show what you know. I know y’all are not going to remember everything you learned forever, but if you did not have good memories you would not be here. So you might be surprised what could pop up in conversation – even astronomy.  At the very least, you might impress whoever is paying your tuition with one minute of something they never heard of.