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SCIN261 - Introduction to Planetary Science with Lab

Course Details

Course Code: SCIN261 Course ID: 4455 Credit Hours: 4 Level: Undergraduate

This course is a tour of the planets and moons of the solar system, and an introduction to their internal structures, atmospheres, and surface features. Processes that form planets and act continually to change them (e.g., earthquakes, volcanoes, giant impacts) are discussed, as are comets, asteroids, rings, and life. Information gained from spacecraft missions is highlighted. In the laboratory component, students will engage in planetary science inquiry using online interactive simulations and data gathered from space missions and ground-based observatories to help reinforce and build upon the concepts presented in the lecture portion of the course.





Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
01/28/19 - 06/28/19 07/01/19 - 08/25/19 Summer 2019 Session B 8 Week session
03/25/19 - 08/30/19 09/02/19 - 10/27/19 Summer 2019 Session D 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

The successful student will fulfill the following learning objectives:

  • Explain the formation and evolution of the solar system.
  • Describe the characteristics of the Sun.
  • Compare the properties of the Terrestrial planets.
  • Compare the properties of Jovian planets.
  • Compare the characteristics of the Dwarfs Planets with the characteristics of the Terrestrial and Jovian planets.
  • Describe the Moons of our Solar System.
  • Describe the minor bodies of the solar system (asteroids, comets and meteoroids).
  • Examine the possibility for the existence of life elsewhere in the solar system.

Forums: Participation is mandatory and will count towards the course grade. You are expected to provide a substantial comment of several well-written paragraphs in each session and a similar comment or reflection in reply to at least two other students’ contribution. Statements such as “I agree” or “good post” will not count as a reply.

Quizzes: The quizzes are on-line, open-book, and timed. They may include multiple choices, fill in the blank, and short essay type questions.

Labs: Each student will write an independent lab report and submit it into via
“assignments”.

Final project: Specific information about the final project is posted on “assignments”.

NameGrade %
Forums 20.00 %
Brief Biography 2.00 %
Forum 1 2.50 %
Forum 2 2.50 %
Forum 3 2.50 %
Forum 4 2.50 %
Forum 5 2.50 %
Forum 6 2.50 %
Forum 7 2.50 %
Forum 8 2.50 %
Labs 20.00 %
Lab 1 - Week 1 4.00 %
Lab 2 - Week 3 4.00 %
Lab 3 - Week 5 4.00 %
Lab 4 - Week 7 4.00 %
Lab 5 - Week 8 4.00 %
Quizzes 40.00 %
Quiz 1 (Weeks 1 & 2) 10.00 %
Quiz 2 (Weeks 3 & 4) 10.00 %
Quiz 3 (Weeks 5 & 6) 10.00 %
Quiz 4 (Weeks 7 & 8) 10.00 %
Final Project 20.00 %
Final Project 20.00 %

Book Title: You must validate your cart to get access to your VitalSource e-book(s). If needed, instructions are available here - http://apus.libguides.com/bookstore/undergraduate
Author: N/A
Publication Info: N/A
ISBN: N/A

Book Title:Various resources from the APUS Library & the Open Web are used. Links provided inside the classroom in the Lessons section.
Author: No Author Specified

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.