In response to numerous requests for more information about the project reports/write-ups, here's some suggestions as to what to include. (Other teaching team members, please chime in...) Clearly, some projects will emphasize different parts of the writeup; the order and exact details are NOT important (we aren't asking for a uniform presentation format). Imagine, though, that we want to compile a book of projects for future editions of this class: the project reports should provide enough information to make the next iteration easier to build and better.
Also, although we are not looking for excessive 'slickness' in the project reports, we do appreciate some consistency and readability. A little attention to presentation will make it easier for people to understand. Therefore:
Abstract / overall description (one paragraph).
Description of the science principle, effect, or concept that the project exhibits.
Construction of the exhibit, in sufficient detail (drawings, photos, diagrams, materials specifications) that someone could build it.
Additional ilustrations, photos, etc. as needed to give an aesthetic sense of the completed project (not only the construction)
Example / scenario of how the exhibit works, sufficient to give a reader who has not seen the real thing a sense of what it is like to 'use' it.
Any remarks as needed about the computational component of the project (i.e., cricket program code or pseudocode).
Any remarks as needed about the craft component of the project (beyond those in "construction" above).
Discussion of the process of constructing the project; obstacles encountered and how they were surmounted; unexpected opportunities discovered; and any insights gained through construction and debugging.
Future work: possible extensions; if we could do it over again; a next step would be...; if only we had more crickets..
To learn more... any readings or references that would be useful for someone trying to do the project..
And... in addition to the paper version of the project report, we'd welcome digital copies of any and all project materials that you have. This is NOT part of the grading process, but would help us to package the materials in the future. Therefore, don't spend extra time, but if your photos, scans, etc. are available, we'd love to have them.