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Searching for Life

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Participants learn about the characteristics of life and conduct an experiment, searching for life in different soil samples.

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Provides extensive background information, facilitation outline, materials shopping list, extended supporting media suggestions, correlations to national standards, and more.

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Hints for uses in your library Tips for Engaging Girls in STEM:

1) Use group work and collaboration to help engage children. Girls benefit from collaboration, especially when they can participate and communicate fairly. Girls are energized by the social part of science, working and learning together. This activity gives the children the opportunity to collaborate and work together in a fun and engaging social environment.

2) Encourage critical thinking. Girls gain confidence and trust in their own reasoning when encouraged to think critically. This activity provides an opportunity for children to use their observational skills and think critically about identifying signs of life.

3) Expose girls to female role models who have achieved in math and science in order to promote positive beliefs regarding women’s abilities. If possible, have a female speaker share the science of astrobiology, and how scientists look for life in the universe. This activity also provides activity pages, Scientist Spotlight pages, and Trading Cards featuring female (and male) astrobiologists as an additional resource to connect children with careers in science and to challenge existing stereotypes of scientists.
Related Links Illustrated Instructions:
Illustrated Instructions With Captions
Illustrated Instructions Without Captions

Shopping List
Searching for Life Activity Page
Next Steps in the Search for Life
Looking for life in all the right places
Warm welcome: finding habitable planets
Our Living Planet Shapes the Search for Life Beyond Earth
The Search For Life
Originating Source Lunar and Planetary Institute
Related Books
[Suggest a book]
Alien Lifesearch by David Jefferis This book presents the idea of life on other worlds showing evidence such as a meteorite that some scientists believe contains fossils of past life on Mars. It also includes sections on the origins of life, a look throughout the universe and designing an alien. For children ages 8–11.

Are We Alone? Scientists Search for Life in Space by Gloria Skurzynski
Humans have always been fascinated with extraterrestrial life. Scientists look for it using telescopes, space missions, and planet explorations. They study extremophiles, organisms that live in extreme environments on Earth, in the hopes that they will lead us to a better understanding of how life may exist in space. For children ages 10 and up.

Astrobiologist (Weird Careers in Science) by Mary Firestone
See how scientists from many different fields are all working to determine if there may be life beyond Earth. For children ages 10 and up.

Is There Life in Outer Space? by Isaac Asimov and Richard Hantula
This book transports young astronomers into a realm of speculation, hypothesis, and conjecture about the possibility of life in outer space. For children ages 8 and up.

Life in Outer Space by Kim McDonald
Topics covered include: what is astrobiology, life’s raw materials, extreme biology and searching for ET. Good images are included. Great book for children ages 7–12.

Life on Other Planets by Rhonda Donald
A comprehensive look at the question of whether there is life on other planets, from the imaginative visions of fantasy novels and science fiction movies to the facts revealed by today's cutting–edge technology. For children ages 9–14.

Mars and the Search for Life by Elaine Scott
Mars is a desolate, hostile world, with unbearably cold temperatures, no atmosphere to speak of, and violent dust storms — could there ever have been life there, in some form? For children ages 9 and up.

The Search for Extraterrestrial Life by Don Nardo
Scientists have long suspected that the human race is not alone in the universe. This fascinating volume explores the scientific probabilities of extraterrestrial life and current scientific efforts to find it. For children ages 12 and up.


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Searching for Life

Searching for Life

Participants learn about the characteristics of life and conduct an experiment, searching for life in different soil samples.