In this introductory workshop, pupils will investigate a series of topics within the rapidly expanding, fascinating and interdisciplinary area of Astrobiology! They will discuss what life needs to survive and complete a series of experiments and activities which reveal the limits of life on Earth. They will explore how scientists use the Electromagnetic Spectrum to identify potentially habitable planets and look for signs of life. The workshop concludes with a debate around the ‘Fermi Paradox’ – why haven’t we found any Aliens yet?!
- Sciences: Planet Earth - Space
By using my knowledge of our solar system and the basic needs of living things, I can produce a reasoned argument on the likelihood of life existing elsewhere in the universe.
- Sciences: Forces, electricity and Waves:
By exploring radiations beyond the visible, I can describe a selected application, discussing the advantages and limitations.
By carrying out a comparison of the properties of parts of the electromagnetic spectrum beyond the visible, I can explain the use of radiation and discuss how this has impacted upon society and our quality of life.
Having taken part in practical activities to compare the properties of acids and bases, I have demonstrated ways of measuring and adjusting pH and can describe the significance of pH in everyday life.
Growth and development of different organisms. Research/investigate the importance of suitable conditions eg diet and temperature to maintain growth and development. Debate the links between diet and growth and development disorders.
The growth and development of different organisms can be influenced by different factors. Water, oxygen and warmth are important for the growth and development of plants. Humans need a balanced diet, water, minerals, vitamins and suitable conditions.
Adaptations for survival. Research examples of structural and physiological adaptations which lead to species survival eg cactus, camel, polar bear, fish.
Adaptations can be structural, physiological or behavioural and help organisms survive and reproduce in their environment.
Competition for resources, disease, food availability , grazing and predation are biotic factors. Light intensity, moisture, pH and temperature are abiotic factors.
Cosmology: Investigate whether exo-planets could support life.
Electromagnetic Spectrum: Description of how invisible parts of the EM spectrum can be detected.
Research parts of the EM spectrum including: Gamma rays, X-rays, Ultraviolet radiation, visible light, Infrared radiation, Microwaves, Radio waves. Applications in industry or leisure. Possible hazards of the radiation. Detection of EM radiation: dye/paint sensitive to ultraviolet radiation
Cosmology: Awareness of the use of different parts of the electromagnetic spectrum in obtaining information. Construct a simple spectroscope from a CD diskand examine common light sources. Identification of continuous and line spectra. Use of spectral data for known elements, to identify the elements present in stars.