Life Beyond Us resources for teachers and outreach

To celebrate the World Teachers Day, we have just released the first of the freely available educational materials built on our Life Beyond Us anthology of astrobiology-focused stories and essays. While the resources are connected to the topics present in the book, it is also possible to use as standalone resources entirely without the anthology. The first set of classroom activities revolves around planetary protection – a topic more relevant than ever, not only due to plans for crewed Mars missions!

You can download the brochure here as a pdf. Have a look at the discussion prompts and exercises for high school pupils as well as university students. The activities will work best in a smaller class, but can be adapted e.g. as essay assignments for large university classes where an activity such as a class debate would not work. We are publishing the resources under Creative Commons, CC BY-NC-SA 4.0, which means that you are free to share and adapt the materials (non-commercially and under the same license), as long as you give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license and indicate whether any changes have been made. So – any teachers can modify the resources to best fit the needs of their class, and then share them with others again!

As the academic year continues, we are going to release materials for more and more of astrobiology-related topics, such as major evolutionary transitions, spectroscopy and its role in life detection, hypothetical exotic solvents for life, and more.

We are hoping to bring astrobiology closer to classrooms both in high schools and universities. It is a field not just asking attractive (and important) ‘Big Questions’ about the universe and life, but it also has a number of immediate practical relevancies, which we hope to highlight in these educational materials.

We’ll be looking forward to hear your feedback and experience with them!

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