Final Blog Post – #13

Final Reflective Post

For the final post, please write three reflective paragraphs on the semester. Included in this post you should add a link to your final paper. The final paper should include citations from at least 3 sources and be between 500 and 1000 words.

Paragraph 1: What work are you most proud of and why? Focus on how you may have pushed yourself or how you may have grown in a way that surprised you?

Paragraph 2: What new, interesting science did you learn? Why did that stand out?

Paragraph 3: What is your role as an astronaut on Spaceship Earth? At this point in your life, how would you answer this question? What is your purpose?

Astronomy Workflow

Once you have finished the astronomy work, please take some time to process at least one image. Each person doing astronomy as a project – whether it’s your only one or your honors one has to complete the processing.

The processing works by stacking numerous images through Deep Sky Stacker , a PC based software (it doesn’t work on a Mac). You’ll need to download the software and follow a work flow that is fairly simple. You put in your light frames (pictures of night sky objects), dark frames (pictures from your camera at the same exposure settings but with a cap on the lens) and bias frames (pictures from you camera at fast exposure but with a cap on the lens). The software will stack the image which can then be exported and touched up in PhotoShop.

Check out the videos below for more info.

Honors Post

Add the following to your honors post for the week of Nov 14th

  • A reflection of the work you’ve done to this point on your honors project. What are you learning from a science standpoint? What do you still hope to accomplish?
  • A daily worklog of time spent on your honors project
  •  Problem set 2: Complete one of the following options
    • Read about earth acidification. What is this process and how is it happening? What is the chemistry behind it? What impacts does it have? What should humans be doing to slow it down?
    • Read about earth’s crust. How does rock form on the earth? Describe the process chemically. How is rock formation significant?

Blog Post 12

Only two more of these to go for the rest of the semester.

Post the following this week:

  • What is entropy? How does it relate to time and the fate of the universe? What are your thoughts on the story it tells us? Resource 1: Entropy and Chaos  Resource 2: Entropy and time   Resource 3: Entropy and Heat Death of the Universe
  • How does consciousness play a critical role in any story of spaceship earth and our role?
  • What have you learned doing the capstone work from a science perspective?
  • Post evidence of work you have done on your capstone with a short description of the work (part 1)? This could be a processed astronomy image, an image or video of a nature excursion, an image of a rocket part or drawing, an image from the balloon.

Honors Work Week 2

  • Submit a work log for the work you do on your honors project. This log should include a write up of what you did and how long you worked on it each day. If you did nothing in a given day, write the date down and a note that you didn’t work on your honors project.
  • Problem set
    • Go to the TedEd site on the periodic table. Pick three elements off of the table and watch the short video associated with each one. Write a brief summary of what you learned from the video.
    • Look up and write down what distinguishes each group in the following list:
      • Akali Metals
      • Akali Earth Metals
      • Transition Metals
      • Other Metals
      • Rare Earth Metals
      • Noble Gases
      • Halogens
      • Non-metals


Honors Post

Honors students should start the following post which will eventually contain the following:

  • A work-log which will contain five entries
  • Two big reflections (one due before Thanksgiving. one due before exhibition)
  • Four additional problem sets (Chemistry Based – 1 per week) OR A second research paper
  • Three written responses to Chem readings (short responses)

This week (Nov 3rd) you should start by writing a work-log for describing all of the work you have done on your honors (second) project since we started the capstone. Keep a log of all honors work you due moving forward to add to your work log. Your work log should contain and entry for every day moving forward including a note on what you did for work on your honors project and how long you worked on it. If you didn’t work on it during a given day, you should make a note of that.

Blog Post 11: Life

Post the following for this week’s work:

  • After watching Cosmos: These are Some of the Things Molecules Do, answer 2 of the following questions:
    • What is the significance of DNA, particularly in what it tells us about the relationship of life on earth?
    • We are currently living in the midst of the sixth major extinction event. How does that fact inform your life?
    • What struck you about Tyson’s description of the evolution of the human eye?
    • What do tardigrades and other extremophiles tell us about the potential for life in extreme environments such as Titan?
  • Read this short article on water. Watch this short video on water.
    • What are the properties of water that allow for life?
    • What strikes you about water? Why?
  • Work log of the week. What did you accomplish for your capstone this week?

Research Paper

Over the next six weeks, you must complete a research paper on one of the following questions within your capstone group. Everyone must complete a 500 – 1000 word research paper, double spaced. Use the graphic organizer from Mike’s class. The thesis of the research paper will be the main idea of your paper and you should use three to five sources which correspond to each claim box on the organizer.


  • What is entropy? Why is it significant to our understanding of the universe, time, the processes around us and the fate of the universe?
  • How do stars create light? How can we read that light for information about what’s happening in the star or nebula?
  • What is the relationship between focal length, aperture, and an object’s apparent magnitude in the night sky in order to gather data about the object?
  • What is gravity? Why has it been called the cosmic sculpture?


  • What is the ISP of a rocket fuel and why is it significant? Compare the impulse of sugar fuels, sugar grain and black powder.
  • Compare the materials used in the Phoenix 1 rocket. What are the advantages of aluminum, stainless steel, a silicon O-ring and a plastic nose-cone? Why use these materials?
  • Why is the nozzle so significant to rocket performance?

Weather Balloon Science

  • What is the atmosphere and why is it significant?
  • What is the magnetosphere and why is it significant?


  • What is DNA and why is it significant?
  • What is it about the nature of water that allows for the formation of complex molecular structures and life itself?
  • What is the ecosystem of the San Diego regions and what are the challenges we face?


  • What is light and how is it captured in film?