Winter Final Project

Trajectories Winter Final Project

Proposals due Thursday 2/14 (week 6). Final project presentations during week 10.

As we’ve discussed, the winter quarter final projects will focus on creative ways to explain a physics or math concept or phenomenon. Each of you will choose a topic that we studied in the fall, this winter or might study if we were to continue beyond this point. You will develop a strategy of explaining it that involves animation and/or drawing, create the work, and then present it to the program in week 10.

Choosing Topics.
You might choose from one of the following, or discuss with us a topic in the spirit of the following:

  • Fall: You might have received comments from Krishna in your fall evaluation that directed you to center your final project on an aspect of physics that you had difficulty with last quarter so that you can fortify your understanding of it. Or you might be interested in pursuing some aspect of our fall quarter work that we weren’t able to cover completely (such as analyzing data from Wild Waves, doing more analysis of animated motion, etc).
  • Winter: You might be inspired by something we’re studying or working with this quarter, or feel stuck on a topic that more focused work would help you fully master.
  • Something beyond: We haven’t worked through our physics textbook completely. There are several chapters we’ve skipped or just dipped into; you might want to choose an aspect of physics from those chapters so through this project you can teach it to yourself.

In considering your choice of topic, recall that a major aim of this project is to explain or teach something to an audience. An important strategy in teaching or explaining something is developing a hook that attracts your audiences and makes them want to know what you have to tell them. As you think about different possibilities for a topic, brainstorm simple strategies of communicating about each that will hook your audience. You could explain how a physics law works by analyzing a toy such as a yo-yo or an invention such as an automobile airbag, or critique a popular culture text for its representation of a specific law of physics. Choose a topic with good potential for developing a hook.

Designing your approach: Knowing your topic and the hook you will use will help you design the formal elements of your overall project. The finished work must include creative use of animation and/or image, however it is not required that you produce a traditional single channel animated video. You could author a blog with animation and imagery embedded in it, develop a performance or demonstration of a concept that includes animation projected or in an optical device, create a children’s book or other pictorial object, or invent a toy with supplementary visual or animated materials you would use if you were to market it. Sometimes the form of a project emerges organically from the topic. Think broadly about the possibilities.

We are eager and available to work with you on choosing a topic and brainstorming ways for you to approach it, so please take advantage of our office hours or make appointments to consult with us.

Research & Annotated Bibliography:
Do some research about your topic and creative ways people have approached explaining it. After reviewing, analyzing and taking notes on your sources, produce an annotated bibliography that includes each author’s name, titles of the works, publishers or web addresses, and download dates for web sites or years of publication or release for other sources. Write a one paragraph (three sentences minimum) description of the content of each source, how it relates to your topic and approach and what you learned from it.

The bibliography should contain at least 5 sources (it’s likely that you will find more than 5) from at least 3 of the following categories:
• web site, animated or live-action video, or audio track
• object
• book/article
• a project or hands on activity that you have seen or experienced personally

Write a proposal (10 point type, double spaced, proofread and stapled) that includes:

  • a 2-3 paragraph treatment or abstract that describes your topic, hook and approach, and how you will present it
  • your annotated bibliography
  • This project is worth 3 credits, so you are expected to put in a total of about 90 hours of work including class time. Develop a day by day schedule that details the sequence in which you will produce the work and the amount of time you are putting into each task required. At the end of the schedule, provide a total of the number of hours you’ve accounted for. Note that we don’t have class on Monday of week 7 (2/18 is a holiday) but that for the rest of that week, the program continues as usual. There is no new animation content after week 7. The physics exam is Monday of week 8 (2/25), with a follow-up reflection on Tuesday. Calculus and Drawing continue into week 9. However, the rest of weeks 8 and 9 are dedicated to your final project work.
  • a list of materials you’ll need
  • questions you have about how to proceed and what technical support you might need. For example, if you’d like to learn a presentation software like Powerpoint, or have questions about how to use specific tools that you might need, note those.

Proposals are due Thursday 2/14 at the week 6 Wrap,. Bring 4 copies of your proposal to share in peer critique. You will hand in one of them.

Presentation: You will have 10 minutes to present your work to the class in week 10, with some follow-up time for questions from your classmates. Note that all presentations will occur in our homeroom, Lab 2 2223A. We will select the order of presentation randomly so you need to be prepared to present your work Monday of week 10. That means that any materials you want to project need to be in the Winter Final Project Workspace folder on Orca, in a subfolder clearly labeled with your name by 9 am that day.

Summary Statement: After you have completed your project and the presentation, write a statement evaluating your work, describing specific math or physics skills or concepts that you learned from it as well as creative skills or experience that you gained from the process and how the finished work deviated from the proposal.