Assignment 4: Science News Presentation

Science FYS (PSU 008; Section 14) Fall 2002
Assignment 4
Assignment 4: Science News Presentation
Due on Friday, November 8th, 15th, 22nd, 2002 (depending on group # assigned)
You have been assigned to follow science news throughout the semester, and now it is time
to decide which news you and your group would like to present to class. Only consider articles
published during 2002. You will need to agree on a topic over the next week and hand-in an
article on that topic next Friday, November 1st. The author(s), date, and source of the article needs
to be submitted along with the text. The instructor will copy and distribute all articles to all students
prior to presentations. You are expected to read all the articles (see more below under “Participation of
the Audience”).
In order to properly communicate the information within the article, you will need to do
some background research on the topic. You see, half the assignment is to anticipate what your
audience may not understand by simply reading the article you’re presenting. Begin your background
preparation by having all group members independently read the chosen article. Each of you should
write down terms and concepts you are unfamiliar with. From this list, your group will have a pretty
good idea of what background information the class will need to understand, and which information
you will need to research. In the end, you should be able to define all technical terms and generally
explain any fundamental concepts that would help your audience understand the article.
Presentation Format:
You must use PowerPoint (or like program for electronic data presentation). You are
expected to fill a 15 minute time block. This will allow for two groups per presentation date plus
ample time for questions and discussion. Your presentation should include the following information:
1) Source of the news (title, author(s), date, literature source).
2) Background concepts (define technical terms).
3) The body of the science involved (the what, how, where, and/or when of the article).
4) Overall relevance for the discipline and society.
You will probably need to make no more than 10 PowerPoint slides for your presentation.
Do not clutter your slides with too much text or irrelevant figures. Again, keep text to simple bulleted
points such as in an outline; your spoken words will fill in the detail. You need to incorporate
figures (plot, diagrams, maps, etc…) to help illustrate points. If you article is absent of these types of
visual aids, then finding some of these aids will be another objective of your background research.
Figures can be saved from public websites or scanned from textbooks (see computer lab technicians
for help with the scanner in ISTB Rm 106).
Participation in the Audience:
It is expected that everyone will have read the appropriate articles prior to that day’s
presentations. Your responsibility as a member of the audience is to ask questions after the
presentation. You should start thinking about, and writing down, two questions for each article as you
read them (prior to the talk!). Your questions may be as simple as requesting the definition of a
technical term not defined during the presentation, or clarification of a concept. Hand in your
questions with your weekly participation tally, and later bind them in your portfolio.