Back to Volume
Paper: Astrobiology: Identifying Bacteria from Extreme Environments
Volume: 436, Learning from Inquiry In Practice
Page: 264
Authors: Quan, T. K.; Dorighi, K. M.; Cooksey, K. L.
Abstract: COSMOS is a four-week summer residential academic and enrichment program for high school students interested in science and mathematics, sponsored by the University of California. Since 2001, participants in the Center for Adaptive Optics (CfAO) Professional Development Program (PDP) have developed and instructed a general astronomy and biology COSMOS course cluster. This cluster provides an optimal venue for piloting newly designed activities, as well as an opportunity for PDP participants to obtain practical teaching experience. In 2007, we designed an astrobiology-based project for five of the 17 students in our cluster. This project aimed to bridge the gap between the astronomy and biology sides of Cluster 7: Stars and Cells. We facilitated the process whereby the students designed and implemented their own experimental plan to identify unknown extremophilic bacteria. Their findings allowed them to extrapolate and discuss what it means to be alive and how these factors would impact life on other planets. Here we provide details of the entire project design and reflect on its success.
Back to Volume