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This is a set of two improv-style activites that encourage participants to participate in learning about living and nonliving things. Learners will get to know each other through an icebreaker activity and state their ideas and previous experience... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

This is an activity designed to develop a working definition of life. Learners will conduct a simple experiment, looking for signs of life in three different "soil" samples. The experiment introduces children to the difficulty that scientists face... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

This is an activity about the requirements of life. Learners will explore what living things need to survive and thrive by creating and caring for a garden plot (outdoors where appropriate) or a container garden (indoors) at the program facility.... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

This activity focuses on the relationship between science of looking for life and the tools, on vehicles such as the Mars Rover, that make it possible. Learners will create their own models of a Mars rover. They determine what tools would be... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

Designed as a five-lesson curriculum to introduce students to limnology, this program explores the structure, history and biology of lakes. Students analyze models, images, and a core sample from a lake case study before engineering a device for... (View More)

After reading aloud a text on life in extreme environments, students will discuss what life is and the requirements of life. Groups of students will conduct an experiment of their choosing on chia seeds to explore how extreme environments affect the... (View More)

Keywords: Mars; Literacy; Reading

This is a set of three activities about how scientists study other worlds. Learners will explore and compare the features of Mars and Earth, discuss what the features suggest about the history of Mars, and create a model to help them understand how... (View More)

Audience: Informal education

Learn how to implement an ozone monitoring garden. This field guide includes background information on ozone-induced plant injury, resources for identifying ozone injury to some specific plants, activities and links for getting involved, and... (View More)

In this lesson about cosmic rays, students will describe why cosmic rays are dangerous to astronauts. Includes information about student preconceptions. This is activity 3 of 4 from The Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation (CRaTER).

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

This is a lesson about the definition of life. Learners will compare real and fake or live and dead objects and brainstorm ideas about what life is; refine the definition by playing 20 Questions to identify an object or organism; and test the... (View More)