C. elegans and the Search for Extraterrestrial Life

Introduce the topic of astrobiology in a unit that's out of this world. Biology scholars examine the search for extraterrestrial life by culturing roundworms, a species that has been key in helping researchers understand the challenges of space exploration. The unit culminates in a pupil-designed space exploration vehicle project.

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Instructional Ideas
  • Incorporate a video depicting current astrobiological studies into the unit
  • Create awards for groups with the best space vehicle designs
Classroom Considerations
  • Order the C. elegans specimens in plenty of time to facilitate the experiment
  • Pupils should have some experience in creating and maintaining lab-grown specimens
  • This resource is only available on an unencrypted HTTP website. It should be fine for general use, but don’t use it to share any personally identifiable information
Pros
  • The unit outline and materials include all printable worksheets and presentations
  • Goals for learning are very clear and presented each day, which helps put individuals in charge of their learning
Cons
  • None