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Sample Astrobiology Activities
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Extraordinary Claims
(Chapter 1 - Cosmic Questions, Activity 4)

In this activity students explore the idea of life beyond Earth. They examine the nature of and the differences between pseudoscience and scientific evidence.

To do this, they consider two reports regarding the possibility of life on Mars from two very different sources–a tabloid article and an on-line news article. The discovery of extraterrestrial life would undoubtedly be considered one of the most significant events of all time.

The media, and those who sensationalize events, are often less than accurate in their reports of evidence for life on other worlds. Extensive evidence would be needed to support any such claim. What is acceptable proof? What is the responsibility of the media when they report on our search for life? More important, how should we go about interpreting what is reported?

Teacher Guide (pdf 180 KB)

Student Guide (pdf 368 KB)

TERC
Astrobiology: An Integrated Science Approach
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