Life in the Universe

An Educational Project Conducted by the SETI Institute with sponsorship from the National Science Foundation and NASA

The Life in the Universe curriculum is a unique set of resources, for elementary and middle school teachers, designed to bring the excitement of searching for life beyond Earth into the classroom. The SETI Institute, with funding from NSF and NASA, developed these award winning classroom materials with a team of educators, curriculum developers, and scientists. The Life in the Universe curriculum explores many facets of how scientists are trying to answer the questions: Where did life come from? What is its future? Are we alone?

In the Life in the Universe curriculum, students explore conditions that support life on Earth and the possible existence of life elsewhere. The curriculum draws upon the experience of SETI Institute scientists, whose research encompasses the full spectrum of astrobiology: astronomy, life sciences, Earth sciences, chemistry, physics, mathematics, engineering, and many other disciplines. The hands-on science activities were tested nationally in a variety of schools representing a broad range of students. Organized around story lines, these activities pose challenges that require students to investigate what is known about life on Earth.

The entire Life in the Universe curriculum consists of six teaching packages: The Science Detectives for grades 3-4; The SETI Academy Planet Project Volume 1: The Evolution of a Planetary System, The SETI Academy Planet Project Volume 2: How Might Life Evolve on Other Worlds?*, and The SETI Academy Planet Project Volume 3: The Rise of Intelligence and Culture* for grades 5-6; Life: Here? There? Elsewhere? The Search for Life on Venus and Mars for grades 7-8, and Project Haystack: The Search for Life in the Galaxy for grades 8-9. Each package contains a teacher's guide with sequential, interdisciplinary, hands-on science activities guides. To download the curriculum, visit Curriculum Files.

*Designated "Best Children's Science Book" by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Curriculum Files
Download curriculm files from each of the teacher's guides.

All of the guides will be available as PDF files this fall 2009.