The Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover and other Mars missions are a great place to start for holding an event! Ongoing programs such as summer reading programs and summer camps can conduct a variety of activities about our search for water and life on Mars.
Consider holding an evening telescope observing session! Some ideas include bringing in speakers (consider getting in touch with local astronomical societies, planetariums and museums, local scientists (astronomy and geology departments at nearby universities are a good place to start) and NASA's Solar System Ambassadors.
In addition to the activities below, remember to check out Educational Resources for online interactives, videos, podcasts, and more!
Be sure to submit photographs, artwork, music, or words of your community enjoying your activities to Share Your Stories.
| Astrobiology: Science Learning Activities for Afterschool || This guide consists of eight activities, each of which may be completed in about one hour. The Activities are targeted for 5-12 year olds, with separate instructions for the different age groups when appropriate. |
| Anyone Out There? Activity and PowerPoint || In this presentation of the Drake Equation, each of the factors contributing to the likelihood of intelligent life in our galaxy is reviewed. This activity can be made interactive, with participants discussing 6 questions in groups. Starting with all of the stars in the Milky Way, the presenter methodically looks at many variables that together estimate the potential number of intelligent civilizations in the galaxy. |
| Keys to the Rainbow || Discover how we learn about stars and the atmospheres of exoplanets by examining the light in greater detail. Match up the spectra of stars and planets with their atmospheric ingredients. In particular, what ingredients are we looking for in planets that may harbor life? |
| Life in the Extreme Activity || Participants are each given one of 14 examples of extremophiles organisms found in some of the toughest conditions on Earth. They sort themselves into groups according to the various preferences of their organisms. Finally, they discover that all known life on Earth requires liquid water to survive and grow. |
| Earth Timeline Activity and Banner || Participants guess when various kinds of organisms first developed in the history of Earth, and then hear about the actual timeline of life. The early development of simple life and the relatively late development of complex life changes many people's ideas of what alien life may look like. |