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Are We Alone?

Find an answer to the age-old debate of whether life exists on Mars. Groups determine criteria to help look for signs of life on Mars. The activity has the class simulate testing Martian soil samples for signs of life before drawing conclusions on whether we are alone. 

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CCSS: Designed
NGSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas

  • Have the class brainstorm ways to test to determine whether a sample has life, based upon the criteria for life table
Classroom Considerations

  • Though drawing inferences about the soil samples, this is not exactly what is intended by the CCSS Math standard 7.SP.A.2
  • Prepare the soil samples prior to the activity so the class does not know what is in each sample
  • The simulation is last in a 13-part series

  • The directions contain suggestions on how to use the activity with different age groups
  • The assessment section suggests having groups create a conference presentation on their results

  • None
Common Core

Included Materials

  • Are We Alone? – Data Worksheet
  • Vocabulary

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