GO130 Astronomy

for SP 2012

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Mission Statement: Park University provides access to a quality higher education experience that prepares a diverse community of learners to think critically, communicate effectively, demonstrate a global perspective and engage in lifelong learning and service to others.

Vision Statement: Park University, a pioneering institution of higher learning since 1875, will provide leadership in quality, innovative education for a diversity of learners who will excel in their professional and personal service to the global community.


GO 130 Astronomy


SP 2012 HO


Berg, Steve


Adjunct Faculty


Master of Science, Astronomy

Office Hours

By appointment

Other Phone





Semester Dates

January 17 to May 5, 2012

Class Days


Class Time

7:00 - 9: 55 PM



Credit Hours



Universe 9e by Freedman, Geller & Kaufmann, published by W. H. Freeman and Company, ISBN 1-4292-3153-X  
Universe 8e
by Freedman & Kaufmann is also acceptable, and may be available on line at reduced cost (ISBN 0-7167-8584-6).

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:
Other items needed are:  a small calculator (needs to be able to do powers and roots--25^3), a lab notebook (or section in a loose-leaf notebook), a flash drive or other computer storage media.  A small flashlight would also be helpful.

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 philosophy is to combine lcture with visual illustrations and demonstrations to reinforce learning of the course material.  Labs include demonstrations and practical applications of the course content, again to reinforce learning.  Outside reading and written homework are coordinated with classroom lectures and activities, again to reinforce learning.  Larger projects are intended to serve as practical, hands-on applications of the scientific principles studied, and to bring the abstract into the more understandable concrete.  Exams serve to assess both the students mastery of the material and the effectiveness of the course presentation. Classes will include lectures, slides, demonstrations, discussions.  Labs will focus on observation technics and small group work.

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.

  Instructor Learning Outcomes
  1. Describe the tools--instruments and laws of nature--that astronomers use to understand the heavens and, using proper terminology, explain planetary orbits, the seasons, and moon phases.
  2. Explain how the planets and major moons formed and developed, and have come to have the composition, internal structures and atmospheres they currently have, giving special consideration to conditions suitable for developing and/or sustaining life.
  3. Explain how stars are powered and how they evolove; analyze the evidence that supports these claims.
  4. Describe how matter is currently distributed throughout the universe (from galaxy types to larger scale structures), explain how it got that way, and analyze the evidence that supports these claims.
Core Assessment:

Class Assessment:

For Core Assessment, the Portfolio assignment is worth 20% of the final grade.
For the portfolio assignment, the student will select up to two assignments, quizzes, lab reports, tests that the student believes demonstrates that they have achieved mastery of the course's Core Learning Outcomes.  For each outcome the student will write a reflection paper explaining why those particular assignments, quizzes, lab reports, or tests were selected and how they demonstrate the mastery of the outcome in question.  Points will be given for creativity and analysis.  This is one way for the student to take control of their own grade in this course.


15%  Final Exam
20%  Other Tests (3)
25%  Homework.  Must be turned in on time for full credit
20%  Core Assessment
20%  Lab participation:  Active participation and cooperation earns full credit for each lab period.  Each unexcused absence will reduce your lab grade by 10%
Final grades will be assigned by total points weighted according to the above percentages with an A (90%), B (80%), C (70%), D (60%), and F (less than 60%).

Late Submission of Course Materials:
Acceptance of homework after the due date without prior approval of the instructor will be at the discretion of the instructor, and will be subject to a penalty in points earned.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
Students should read assigned material prior to class and be prepared to ask questons and work example problems in class, where participation and questions are encouraged.  Attendance is mandatory for both labs and classes, and students are expected to attend all classes for the full class period, and to submit all homework in a timely manner.  Absences will be excused at the discretion of the instructor for legitimate reasons (illness, etc.).  The lab grade will be determined on attendance and participation.  If the student participates properly, the grade will be an 'A.'  Assignments are to be prepared in written or printed out form and brought to class, not emailed to the instructor.  Computer and printer malfunctions will not be considered acceptable excuses for late assignments.  The instructor recommends that work be saved on portable media, such a floppy disk or flash drive.  Similarly, when the class uses the computer lab, work should be saved on portable media, not just sent by email.  Texting and other non-class-related activities during class is prohibited and will be considered grounds for an unexcused absence.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Weeks 1-4:  Chapters 1-5
Weeks 5-8:  Chapters 7, 8, 10-13   Test
   Midterm Recess
Weeks 9-12:  Chapters 16-20
Weeks 13-15:  Chapters 21-24, selections from 26 and 28
   Final Exam, Week 16

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 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 93

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 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 93
Student work, including homework and projects, which includes plagiarized passages will be severely penalized, with a minimum penalty of no credit for the assignment.  Plagiarism includes copying from internet sources.  The use of outside sources is strongly encouraged, but the work must be paraphased (put in your own words), and an acknowledgement of the source is normally required.

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 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 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 .


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Last Updated:1/12/2012 2:27:55 PM