Activity - Writing to Persuade
Days Needed 2
Grade Level 11 - 12
Students will demonstrate the ability to use text information
and data to
persuade a reading audience of the benefits of using
microcalorimeter detectors to do X-ray astronomy.
summarize in their own words various reading selections, and will use
results from previous excercises in their persuasion writing.
Science and Math Standards
|Content Standard 2:
- Mathematics as Communication
|Content Standard F:
- Science and Technology
||Content Standard G:
- Science in Personal and Social Perspectives
Math Students should have the ability to understand
graphical data and statistics.
Science Students should understand the concept of
spectra, as well as the background material on the
microcalorimeter. Students should have completed the
activity to identify elements in supernova remnants.
This final assignment will serve as closure. We've taken a close look
at many different topics - yet they are all related. We've learned about
doing astronomy at different energies, about the life
cycles of the stars, about how new technology can improve our
understanding of the way the Universe works. In this assignment,
all that information will be integrated into a writing exercise.
Give your students the following assignment:
Invent an X-ray satellite, name it, draw a picture of
it. This satellite will have a microcalorimeter on it.
Write a one- to two-page persuasive letter addressed to your
Congressperson or essay for your local newspaper in order to obtain
funding for your X-ray astronomy mission.
Your writing should
include the following:
- A one-paragraph description of what a
- The type of information and data that would be
gathered by this satellite
- Why its data would be unique to it and why other satellites
like Chandra could not duplicate it.
- Detailed arguments (at least three) as to why funding this
benefit the scientific community as well as society.
The following scoring tool should be used to evaluate the persuasive
Listed are the items needed for a grade of excellence. Any one incorrect
item or missing item will lower the grade one level.
- Concepts are appropriate and accurate
- Interpretation of data includes support
- Appropriate vocabulary, language mechanics, and complete sentences
- The writing is organized and focused
- Purpose of the writing is clearly carried out