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Astrobiology: Science Learning Activities for Afterschool DLESE Reviewed Collection
The science of astrobiology is concerned with the question of whether or not life exists on other planets. This educator's guide presents eight activities in which younger students investigate this question and explore topics related to the search for life beyond their own planet by using some of the same strategies that astrobiologists use. They will express their opinions on the existence of alien life in a survey, compare living to non-living objects, investigate the observable characteristics of living things, and learn about the conditions necessary for living things to survive. They will expand their thinking to consider microbes as living things, and match recently discovered life forms with the extreme environments in which they live. Then the students will examine images of planets, moons, and the sun, read about the environmental conditions on each, and try to decide if any of these bodies might support life. In a final activity, they will revisit their ideas, repeat the survey of the opening activity, and look for information and evidence that influenced their current opinions.
Intended for grade levels:
  • Primary (K-2)
  • Intermediate (3-5)
  • Middle (6-8)
  • Informal
Type of resource:
  • For the classroom:
    • Classroom activity
    • Guide for instructor
  • Biology
  • Space science
Technical requirements:
Adobe Acrobat reader
Cost / Copyright:
No cost
NASA still images, audio files and video generally are not copyrighted. You may use NASA imagery, video and audio material for educational or informational purposes, including photo collections, textbooks, public exhibits and Internet Web pages. This general permission extends to personal Web pages. This general permission does not extend to use of the NASA insignia logo (the blue "meatball" insignia), the retired NASA logotype (the red "worm" logo) and the NASA seal. These images may not be used by persons who are not NASA employees or on products (including Web pages) that are not NASA sponsored.
DLESE Catalog ID: DLESE-000-000-009-345
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Publisher: National Aeronautics and Space Adminstration (NASA)