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Life sciences  
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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)

This is a lesson about organisms living under extreme conditions on Earth serving as analogs for extraterrestrial life. Learners will play a card game to create a set by matching an extremophile, an extreme habitat on Earth, and an extraterrestrial... (View More)

In this activity, learners will explore the question, What is the chance that we are the only life in the universe? They determine what we need to know to predict the chances of extraterrestrial life. They then make estimates of the number of worlds... (View More)

This is a lesson about the requirements for life on another planet. Learners will grow organisms in one of 12 classroom environments and identify common requirements (such as water, nutrients, and energy). They will also design a mission to identify... (View More)

This is a lesson about the characteristics necessary for life. Learners will identify the top candidates for life in the solar system by examining Habitability Cards, which discuss each planet and the six large moons in terms of water temperature,... (View More)

Learners will use the results of previous lessons in this guide to write a scientific proposal to explore another planet or moon in our solar system for signs of life. This proposal should predict the types of energy and nutrients available to... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

This is a lesson about the evidence for life on other planets. Learners will play a game to examine processes in cellular metabolism and explore both direct and indirect evidence for fingerprints of life. Includes teacher notes, learning objectives,... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

This is a lesson about extremophiles and using DNA sequences to classify them. Learners will describe the characteristics of a newly discoverd thermophyllic organism and use the DNA sequence to place that organism in the phylogenetic tree of life.... (View More)

In this data activity, students create maps of the snow cover of each continent, and determine the average global snow cover. Step-by-step instructions for use of the MY NASA DATA Live Access Server (LAS) guide students through selecting a data set,... (View More)

Keywords: Authentic data use
Audience: Elementary school, Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

In this lesson, students download cloud coverage and surface data from the NASA Clouds and Earth’s Radiant Energy System (CERES) Student’s Cloud Observations On-line (S’COOL) student observation database website, then use a spreadsheet program... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free