In affiliation with NASA's Astrobiology Institute, TERC developed the Astrobiology Institute Educator Resource Guide, a series of five hands-on activities to introduce core ideas in Astrobiology. Students (grades 5-10) examine five key questions: What is life? What does life need to live? What makes a world habitable? What can life tolerate? Is there life on other worlds?
The hands-on activities in this Educator Resource Guide lay the conceptual groundwork for understanding questions fundamental to the field of astrobiology. They enable students to examine the nature of life, what it requires, its limits, and where it might be found. Through three experiences, students learn important ideas related to the search for extraterrestrial life.
After completing the activities in this guide, students will understand more about the nature of life, the habitability of planets, how astrobiologists gain insight into the possibility of extraterrestrial life, the interdisciplinary nature of astrobiology, and the difficulties and subtleties of the search for life.