Penn State NASA

Capstone: Introduction


Capstone: Introduction


The goal of the capstone is for you to summarize what you have been learning as you progress through the modules of the course. The capstone consists of a series of small assignments (short write-ups and corresponding video clips that you will add to a Google Earth map) that you will create every 2 weeks. You will hand in the capstone at four different stages (see syllabus) so you will get plenty of feedback. By the end of Module 12, you will be nearly done with your Capstone, with no huge assignment at the end of class. Along the way, you will receive rubrics and feedback to guide you in doing your best work.

Every other week, you will read an article from one of the two reports linked below, on the impacts of climate change on the US and the world. As you read the article, keep in mind that all of the capstone assignments will relate to what you have learned in the modules, as well as to the article that you selected to read. Each assignment will focus on the impact of various aspects of climate and environmental change in specific places.

The two reports are:

The capstone will require you to make an assignment submission every two weeks and will be related to the module material for that week. You should look at the chapter in the report and find an element that interests you. You do not need to summarize the whole document, but find a small part that relates to the impact of that part of climate change on a place of interest to you and write a small vignette about it. The length of each entry must be a minimum of 200 words and a maximum of 400 words, so very short. The required elements are laid out in the rubric below. It is imperative that you keep up with this assignment.

We focus this assignment on places because, while the impacts of climate change are global, certain regions will be hit harder, as we will learn throughout the semester. Thus, you should look for a place or region in each chapter of the report and focus on why that place is vulnerable and what is being done about it. For each assignment submission, please be sure to answer the following questions using the general format below.

  1. What is the threat?
  2. Why is that place/regional vulnerable?
  3. What are the forecasts in terms of environmental change?
  4. What are the forecasted impacts on communities?
  5. What are the solutions? (If applicable)

The final product will be text that you hand in via Turnitin and video clips of the text that you record using Screencast-O-Matic software. You will place these videos at the relative place on your Google Earth map and save the file as a kmz. So, the steps are to:

  1. Write 200-400 words of text that summarize the questions (1-5) above for your place on your topic of interest.
  2. Record video clips for each write-up using screencast-o-matic. Recording your voice, reading your responses, is all that is required.
  3. Place each clip at the relevant place in Google Earth by attaching it to a Pin (see video below) and save as a kmz file.
  4. At the end of the semester, save the complete Google Earth kmz file and place it in the Capstone Google Earth Tour Dropbox. Turn in your text for all 6 assignments copied into one file via Turnitin.

How to place location pins and link to your videos (3:07)

Click for the How to place location pins and link to your videos transcript.

Hi students. So, today, I'm going to show you how to place location pins and link your videos for the capstone experience. So, let's just get going with this. It's very straightforward. My overall recommendation is not to actually do this until you have all of your videos ready to load and link in a video tour, which we'll be showing you later on, just because you're gonna have to keep on updating your KMZ file and this takes no time at all. Anyway, but let me show you now. If you want to keep doing this now, you can. So, let's say your first place-based description is Bermuda. My favorite place - not that I've ever been there. I'm gonna enter Bermuda. Here we go, alright, and so now let me link a pin. I'm just going to click on this guy. Add a pinpoint. I'm gonna call it Bermuda. Maybe you want to call it Module 2. You can do what you like there, so long as it's clear. And then, you are just basically gonna add your link to here. And the URL from your Screencast-O-Matic video is best done through YouTube. If you want to make a YouTube channel, that is a whole other exercise there. So, let's just go www dot new york times dot com. Alright, and then you would just go okay, and then what it would do is it would link it. And just go without doing that for now. It would link it with a little picture of the video in here, like my announcements.

So, the other thing you can do is you can change the style and color of your markers. You can put different colors in. You can choose a magenta one, for example, the label is magenta which would say Bermuda module 2. The icon would be orange. And then you can have different sizes. Let's go to size 4. Just go okay there. I want to do this, red, okay. And then we're gonna go to size 4, 5, maybe really big for both, okay. And, okay bingo, there it is, Bermuda in all its glory. Alright, so that's it. Again, I recommend you don't do this till you are ready to load all of them and do the tour. And I'll be providing you more information on that later on. So, for now, I would be spending my time reading the materials and writing your 200- to 400-word script, as well as potentially taking it in screencast. All right, so that's it for now and we'll talk to you later on. Bye.

Grading Rubric
Assessment Criteria Excellent Above Average Average (Acceptable) Below Average Unacceptable
Script discusses key concepts relevant to each of the six stages. 5 4 3 2 1
Concepts are explored in detail. 5 4 3 2 1
Script is place-based. 5 4 3 2 1
Script is well-written. 5 4 3 2 1
Script contains references. 5 4 3 2 1
kmz file functions and tour is audible. 10 8 6 4 2