This subject is the study of the life beyond Earth, and the conditions under which life may exist. These are Lunar and Planetary Institute resources from our field trips, workshops, programs, and products. They include activities, images, powerpoints, recommended books and videos and Web sites, and more. We will continue to expand these sections as we develop additional resources.
If you have comments, please send them to Education@lpi.usra.edu.
- Extreme Salinity - Version 1 (Dilution) (high school –adult) DRAFT
Determine the saline concentration limits at which hypersaline organisms can live by modifying the salinity concentration of several brine samples from a natural hypersaline environment.
- Extreme Salinity – Version 2 (Dilution and Concentration) (high school –adult) DRAFT
To determine the saline concentration limits at which hypersaline organisms can live, students will modify by dilution and salinity concentration several brine samples from a natural hypersaline environment.
- Temperature Extremes (PDF) (high school –adult) DRAFT
To determine the temperature limits at which thermophilic organisms can live, students monitor activity in samples from a natural hydrothermal environment that are exposed to increasingly warm temperatures.
- Make a Habitable World (5th–8th grades)
Children play a cooperative board game that introduces them to five habitability factors — water, energy, nutrients, atmosphere, and temperature — and challenges them to gather these factors to create a habitable planet. Children build a second model — a planet whose surface is hostile to life but whose sub-surface environment a mile or two down can support life.
- Extremities: Geology and Life in Yellowstone and Implications for Other Worlds (educators)
Notes and activities from the 2002 LPI fieldtrip for teachers on astrobiology.
- Solar System Origins and NASA’s Search for Life (modified from Tori Hoehler’s powerpoint)
- Let’s Make a Planet Dr. Jim Murphy (powerpoint)
- Life and Extremes (8th grade–adult)
A powerpoint presentation by Dr. Tori Hoehler which uses simple terms in a complex subject. It begins by defining life and its basic requirements, then covers the threats to life and the limits of habitability for life.
- Habitability: Earth to Universe (8th grade–adult)
A powerpoint presentation by Dr. Allan Treiman, which describes the habitability (or lack thereof) of planets within our solar system, around other stars, and in galaxies and the Universe in general.
- Ancient Life on Mars??? (high school and educator)
An examination of martian meteorites retrieved from Antarctica and recent evidence pointing to possible life on ancient Mars. Images can be downloaded and used for free for educational purposes; also available as a slide set. Images are accompanied by detailed information written at a high school to college level. 40 slides.
- Astrobiology books, videos, and Web sites (6th grade–adult)
Recommended books, videos and sites for a variety of ages