One of the objectives of the year-end project is to demonstrate the ability to cooperate/collaborate with others in order to sustain a challenging project which is sustained over a lengthy period of time. There are a number of means by which you and your group can demonstrate this ability to collaborate. The following are offered as suggestions.
- Each Physics 163 project group will be given an e-mail account which will be active only for the duration of the project. This e-mail account is to be used exclusively for use on the year-end project. You and your group will be required to periodically send e-mail messages to other project groups who are engaged in the same study - the study of the physics of roller coasters. You will be asked to e-mail the other Physics 163 project groups on at least three occasions:
- After the first draft of the literature search. This e-mail should briefly describe your research interests, a brief citing of the sources which you have found most useful, and a question which you hope another Physic 163 student can answer.
- After the Technology Acquaintance Day. This e-mail should describe the purpose of your experiment (including dependent and independent variables) and list the equipment which you will be using to accomplish this purpose.
- After the last day of experimentation. This e-mail should describe the results of your experiment and describe your tentative plans for the presentation (e.g., how you will be organizing the presentation and what audio-visual or visual tools you will use).
- Your e-mail account can be used to send and receive communications from scientists whose addresses you locate on the World Wide Web. Such correspondence should be intelligent, cordial, and respectful. When asking a question of a scientist, you should
- be as specific as possible so that the scientist is able to respond succinctly and still answer your question.
- be respectful of the scientist's time, allowing her/him an opportunity to decline the return correspondence (e.g., "If your time does not allow you to respond to my question, then I would totally understand...").
- avoid asking questions which you could answer yourself by doing simple literature research.
- Your e-mail account can be used to join the ... (still under construction).
- There are several pages on the World Wide Web that invite students to ask a scientist. By e-mailing an intelligent question, you are likely to receive an intelligent answer. A few such addresses include:
- You may collaborate with a cooperating scientist through the Electronic Emissary Project at the University of Texas-Austin. With your permission, your teacher will apply for the project and (if available) you will be assigned a subject matter expert whose focus of professional study corresponds to your area of interest. You can subsequently ask questions and receive prompt answers. The Emissary Project does require that you send and receive at least three mail messages a week. This involves a strong commitment! Yet once you identify an area of interest, you will likely benefit greatly from such a commitment.
- Our school has already registered our project with the Global School Network's Internet Project Registry. By registering with GSN, we have become listed as a school conducting research on the physics of roller coasters. Your group can search on-line to see if there are any other high school students conducting similar projects. If you are fortunate enough to find such a group of students, you are welcome to collaborate with them on your project. You may find that you can offer each other much assistance in finding information, sharing experimental data, and sharing successes and failures. It is definitely worth a try.
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Created: July 23, 1996 Last Updated: March 20, 1998