GO130 Astronomy

for S2Z 2011

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Mission Statement: The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence, which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community.

Vision Statement: Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.


GO 130 Astronomy


S2Z 2011 ML


Makela, Darren R.

Office Location

Before and After Class

Office Hours

Before and After Class

Other Phone





Semester Dates

14 Mar - 27 Apr

Class Days


Class Time

7:45 - 10:15 PM

Credit Hours


Universe -- Freedman, Geller, Kaufmann III -- Ninth Ed

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
Career Counseling - The Career Development Center (CDC) provides services for all stages of career development.  The mission of the CDC is to provide the career planning tools to ensure a lifetime of career success.
Park Helpdesk - If you have forgotten your OPEN ID or Password, or need assistance with your PirateMail account, please email helpdesk@park.edu or call 800-927-3024
Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information http://www.park.edu/Current/.

Course Description:
GO130 Astronomy (MGE): This course will study the complexities of the universe. It will examine the physical, chemical and meteorological, and geological aspects of the universe, including planets, suns, asteroids, and nebulas. 3:3:4

Educational Philosophy:
The instructor's educational philosphy is an interactive learning experience utilizing readings, lectures, exams, and writings. 

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Define and predict celestial phenomena.
  2. Compute orbits of planets and stars and sizes of black holes.
  3. Calculate possible atmospheres around planets and structures and compositions of stars, planets and nebula.
  4. Apply the scientific method to various ideas on space to show how ideas are tested and verified.

Core Assessment:

Class Assessment:
Assessment will be via a midterm and final exam, a paper, a presentation, and in class participation.


Mid-term Exam = 100pts
Final Exam = 100pts
Paper = 100pts
A short presentation = 50pts
Class participation = 50 pts

Late Submission of Course Materials:
Late papers must be turned in at the next class meeting unless other arrangements are made with the Instructor.  Students must speak with the Instructor about these arrangements.  Classes missed for legitimate reasons are excusable.  However the student will be held responsible for making up the missed work and must be coordinated with the Instructor.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
Class misconduct will be dealt with on an individual basis.  Cell phones will be on silent or vibrate.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Week 1 -- Chps 1-3
Week 2 -- Chps 4-6
Week 3 -- Chps 9-11
Week 4 -- Short presentations, Midterm exam
Week 5 -- Chp 12-15
Week 6 -- Chp 16-20
Week 7 -- Chp 21-21, Final Exam, Papers Due
Short Presentations:  Any topic of interest covered in the first 11 chapters of the text is acceptable.  Visual aids, handouts, etc are welcome and encouraged, but the presentation should last between 5 and 10 minutes.  The purpose of the short presentation is for the students to feel free to conduct some preliminary research into an area of astronomy that is of interest to them and share that interest with the other students.  Students are encouraged to use the presentation as an opportunity for research for the paper to be handed in on 25 Apr.  Grading - total 50 pts - will be based on the depth of knowledge of the topic and each student's research demonstrated by:
A: Accuracy of information presented (15pts)
B: Relavancy of the topic to the course (15pts)
C: Preparation for presenting the topic (10pts)
D: Any visual aids, handouts, etc used (5pts)
E: Presentation technique (interesting, in/on time, etc) (5pts)
Papers:  Each student will sign up on designating a topic for thier paper.  No two papers will cover the same topic.  First come first serve.  The paper is due no later than 25 Apr 11.  The requirements are:
A: Cover sheet with name, contact info, course title, title of the paper, and date
B:  5-7 double-space pages in 12 pt Arial font with appropriate headings and paragraphs
C:  A bilbiography or reference section including at least 3 BOOK references
Grading will be:
A:  Proper cover sheet (5pts)
B:  References or bibliography section (10pts)
C:  Accruacy of information presented (25pts)
D:  Overall organization of the paper and use of headings (15pts)
E:  Citations within the body of the paper relating to the bibliography/references section (10pts)
F:  Proper use fo grammar, paragraph usage, and correct spelling (10pts)
G:  Content depth and amount of information (25pts)

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life. Park University students and faculty members are encouraged to take advantage of the University resources available for learning about academic honesty (www.park.edu/current or http://www.park.edu/faculty/).from Park University 2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. from Park University 2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92-93

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95-96

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: http://www.park.edu/disability .

Additional Information:

I am trying to arrange a meeting with the local Astronomer's club for a nighttime excursion of the planets.  More to follow.




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Last Updated:3/1/2011 8:33:43 AM