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Paper: Looking for Life in Extreme Environments on Earth and Beyond: Professional Development Workshop for Educators
Volume: 431, Science Education and Outreach: Forging a Path to the Future
Page: 396
Authors: Droppo, R.; Pratt, L.; Suchecki, P. C.
Abstract: The Looking for Life in Extreme Environments workshop held at Indiana University Bloomington in July of 2009 was the first in a series of workshops for high-school teachers that are currently in development. The workshops’ modules are based on the research of faculty members in the Departments of Geological Sciences, Biology, and Astronomy, the School of Education, and the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University Bloomington; the modules use lessons from Exploring Deep-Subsurface Life. Earth Analogues for Possible Life on Mars: Lessons and Activities, curricular materials that were produced and edited by Lisa Pratt and Ruth Droppo and published by NASA in 2008.

Exploring Deep-Subsurface Life is a workbook, a DVD (with closed-captioning), and a CD with the lessons in digital text format for adaptation to classroom needs and printing. Each lesson includes the National Education Standards that apply to the materials. The workbook’s lessons are written with three considerations: Life Domains, Cellular Metabolism, and Extreme Environments and Microbes. Students are challenged to build, draw, measure, discuss, and participate in laboratory processes and experiments that help them understand and describe microbes and their environments. In the Capstone, the students write a grant proposal based on the three lessons’ analogues. The DVD is collection of videotaped interviews with scientists in laboratories at Michigan State, Princeton, and Indiana University, who are working on water and gas samples they collected from deep gold mines in South Africa and the Canadian Arctic. The interview materials and some animated graphics are compiled into four video pieces that support and compliment the accompanying workbook lessons and activities, and offer students insight into the excitement of scientific discovery.
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