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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) The garden will be used to beautify the facility with plant life with many planting and landscaping options provided. Children will consider the requirements of living things, compare the surface conditions on Mars to those found on Earth, view images/video of a NASA Astrobiology Institute "garden" where astrobiologists are studying life under extreme conditions, and consider the similarities and differences in the type of life that would be possible on Mars as compared to their garden on Earth. It also includes specific tips for effectively engaging girls in STEM. This is activity 3 in Explore: Life on Mars? that was developed specifically for use in libraries. (View Less)
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) necessary to help them better understand Mars (and something about life on Mars/its habitability). Then they work in teams to complete a design challenge where they incorporate these elements into their models, which must successfully complete a task. Teams may also work together to create a large-scale, lobby-sized version that may be put on display in the library to engage their community. The activity also includes specific tips for effectively engaging girls in STEM. This is activity 6 in Explore: Life on Mars? that was developed specifically for use in libraries. (View Less)
This is a lesson about how to answer a scientific or engineering question. Learners will refine the scientific question they generated in Lesson 5 so that it can be answered by data and/or modeling, brainstorm possible solutions for the scientific... (View More) question chosen, determine reasonableness of solutions, use concept maps to enhance meaningful learning. The lesson uses the 5E instructional model and includes: TEKS Details (Texas Standards alignment), Essential Question, Science Notebook, Vocabulary Definitions for Students, Vocabulary Definitions for Teachers, two Vocabulary Cards, and a concept map supplement. This is lesson 6 of the Mars Rover Celebration Unit, a six week long curriculum. (View Less)
This is a set of one-page problems about the size and area of solar panels used to generate power. Learners will will use integer arithmetic to tally the number of hydrogen, oxygen and carbon atoms in a molecule and determine the number of methane... (View More) atoms that can result. Options are presented so that students may learn about how NASA is using signs of methane gas to search for life on other planets, such as Mars, through a NASA press release or about how astrobiologists who are looking for life beyond Earth are using spectroscopy to identify methane plumes on Mars by viewing a NASA eClips™ video [7 min]. Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and English Language Arts are identified. This activity is part of the Space Math multi-media modules that integrate NASA press releases, NASA archival video, and mathematics problems targeted at specific math standards commonly encountered in middle school. (View Less)
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).
This is a graphic novel about NASA's search for life in the universe. It tells the story of some of the most important people and events that have shaped the NASA Exobiology and Astrobiology science.
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) definition by comparing "mystery" samples. Includes background reading for teachers, student pages, reflection questions, and blackline masters. This is activity 1 of 5 and sets the stage for subsequent activities in this educator resource guide - Astrobiology in your Classroom: Life on Earth..and Elsewhere? (View Less)
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) habitat that may be similar to an Earth habitat. They will assemble a crew of extremophiles and target them to specific locations on a planet or moon. The activity concludes with a debate on the ethics of sending Earth life to other worlds. Includes background reading for teachers, student pages, reflection questions, and blackline masters. This is activity 4 in the educators guide, Astrobiology in your Classroom: Life on Earth..and Elsewhere? (View Less)
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) in the Milky Way galaxy that have life using the Drake equation. Includes background reading for teachers, student pages, reflection questions, and blackline masters. This is activity 5 of 5 in "Astrobiology in your Classroom: Life on Earth..and Elsewhere?" and builds on the previous activities. (View Less)
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) habitable places by searching for water, nutrients, and energy. A math extension explores measuring calories. Includes background reading for teachers, student pages, reflection questions, and blackline masters. This is activity 2 of 5 in Astrobiology in your Classroom: Life on Earth..and Elsewhere? (View Less)