This learning module and related laboratory exercise exposes students to extremophiles, their habitats and the potential to find habitable environments on Mars.
- Understand the environment in which the Tardigrade can survive.
- Develop a mission to Mars and be able to present research goals to a decision panel prepared to answer questions competently about their research and mission budget.
Context for Use
This module is to be utilized at the end of a full-term of Mars-related topics in conjunction with Earth science processes.
Description and Teaching Materials
- In-Class Activity 1: Tardigrades: Living extremely
- In-Class Activity 2: see Homework 1
- In-Class Activity 3: Mars life: through the lens of Curiosity
Homework 1: Sea Monkey Experiment
Teaching Notes and Tips
- In-Class Activities are meant to be instructor-guided without the use of worksheets. The Image File in Resources should provide ease in implementation of the In-Class Activities.
- In the online Instructor version, answers (where applicable) are show in [brackets]. In the downloadable Instructor .pdf version answers are in [red].
- Students must be familiar with Mars environments of deposition, surface processes and climate.
- Homework 1/In-Class Activity 2 is modified from laboratory exercises and consultations from David Trilling- University of Arizona, and Brian Hynek- University of Colorado.
Each In-Class Activity and Homework has its own measure of Assessment.
References and Resources
- Extremophile Image File (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 3.9MB Oct23 12)
- Instructor Version Here: Extremophiles Instructor Version (Acrobat (PDF) 346kB Oct31 12)
- Student Version Here: Extremophiles Student Version (Acrobat (PDF) 100kB Oct31 12)
- Brine Shrimp Growing Instructions (Acrobat (PDF) 71kB Oct31 12)
- Brine Shrimp Cyst Vendor: Great Salt Lake Brine Shrimp Co-Op (801) 622-1111. 1 15oz can/$43.75; price may vary. Shipping via UPS. Freezer storage is required upon receipt.
- Gale Crater Habitability via Curiosity: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHLbXTOaw7w&feature=relmfu
- Tardigrades video from SciShow on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6H0E77TdYnY&continue_action=r7OE3bLJMHT8fAwevwnX9Oh_0zzl6Ajt2P3129QN588gcYR6MkEN_obkOAtaq5MUvFV4Yiq09ljbJDp8wedzPE1U417RionrJuPdT2CAALc=
- Brine Shrimp Video (MP4 Video 6MB Oct31 12)