Penn StateNASA

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, as you work to complete your final capstone project. 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.

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

    Click for transcript.


  5. At the end of the semester, save the complete Google Earth kmz file and place it in the Canvas Capstone Assignment. Turn in your text for all 6 assignments copied into one file via Turnitin.
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