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What Does Life Need to Live?


Source Institutions

    NASA

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What Does Life Need to Live?

In this astrobiology activity (on page 11 of the PDF), learners consider what organisms need in order to live (water, nutrients, and energy). Learners select an environment at random and identify what they must provide in order to keep their organisms alive. Learners then create the growing environment, make predictions about growth, and observe the environment for ten days. This lesson guide includes background information, handouts, and a math extension. [Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on Archive.org.]

Quick Guide


Preparation Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 4 weeks

Estimated Materials Cost:
Over $20 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan

Language:
English

Materials List (per group of students)


  • Activity Guides (page 16 & 17 of PDF)
  • 1-2 sets of environment cards (page 15 of PDF)
  • Seeds (radish, grass, bean, squash, or alfalfa)
  • Damp soil or damp towel
  • Plastic bags
  • Pond water, sediment, and material (sticks or plants)
  • Open containers
  • Half an apple
  • Open bowl
  • Water
  • Grapes
  • Container or plate for grapes
  • Brine shrimp eggs in container
  • 5 g yeast in container
  • 50 mL warm water
  • Sugar
  • Slice of bread
  • Dried beans
  • Spoon or other crushing tool
  • Cottage cheese, yogurt, or cream cheese
  • Lettuce leaves
  • 5 g cornstarch
  • 95 g soil
  • Handful of hay
  • Pens or pencils

Subjects


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth Structure
      • Oceans and Water
      • Earth, Moon and Sun
    • Earth's History
      • Ecology
    • Earth, Moon and Sun
    • Solar System
      • The Sun
      • The Moon
      • The Planets
  • Life Sciences
    • Cells
      • Chemistry of Life
    • Diversity of Life
      • Plants
      • Animals
      • Viruses and Bacteria
      • Protists and Fungi
  • Physical Sciences
    • Energy
    • Chemistry
      • Chemistry of Life
    • Light and Optics
      • Sunlight and Color
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Asking Questions
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results
    • Science as a Career
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Research and Development
      • Problem Solving
      • Troubleshooting and Maintenance

Informal Categories


  • Animals
  • Gardening
  • Nature and Environment

Audience


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Uses STEM to solve real-world problems
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities

Other


Includes alignment to state and/or national standards

Includes assesments for student learning

Access Rights:

  • Free access

By:

  • Randall, Chris

Rights:

  • Public Domain

Funding Sources:

  • NAI Lead Teams at NASA Ames Research Center and NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • TERC's Astrobiology Curriculum Project

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