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Astrobiology On-Line Course

A graduate-level, Internet-based, distance learning course to help teachers become familiar with astrobiology concepts and gain first hand experience with NSES-based instructional strategies. Innovative, classroom-ready, lessons for grades 5-12 emphasizing an active engagement instructional style and focusing on recent astrobiology discoveries provide outstanding science content and pedagogy to middle and high school science teachers. Teachers who complete the course receive 3 graduate level credits to contribute to their continuing education or pursuit of Master's degree. The course is developed and taught by scientists, high-school teachers, and science educators.

    Course Goals
    • To improve teachers' understanding of the scientific findings and concepts related to the study of astrobiology.
    • To provide teachers with astrobiology curriculum supplements for their classrooms.
    • Help teachers to implement both the content and pedagogical emphases of the NRC National Science Education Standards.
    • Utilize NASA educational resources.

    Weekly Lab Topics
    • Size and Scale of the Universe
    • The Nature of Life
    • Extremophiles & Environments
    • Geologic & Biologic Evolution
    • DNA and Natural Selection
    • The Importance of Water for Life
    • Remote Sensing
    • Terraforming
    • Habitable Zones
    • The Rare Earth Hypothesis
    • Extrasolar Planet Detection
    • The Drake Equation
    • SETI

Webarchived Astrobiology Course for Teachers

Janet Siefert, a VPL team member from Rice University in Houston, Texas, is running an astronomy/astrobiology course for teachers that is being webarchived. Information is available through Dr. Siefert's course page at Rice University.

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