Middle School Science / 6th Grade

Mysteries of Space

Where would you search for life in space?

In this short capstone unit, students explore the question: Where would you search for life in space? Project teams gear up to design an organism capable of thriving on a particular planet or moon by analyzing data about the diversity and nature of our solar system, constructing a scale model of the solar system, and designing a gravity well model to visualize generalizable principles related to mass, distance, and gravity. When they’re ready to address the design challenge, students conduct research on their planet or moon’s environmental conditions and consider examples of extremophiles that thrive in similar environments on Earth. Project teams present their organisms for evaluation at a Life in Space Discovery Challenge held in their classroom or school.

Unit length: 2 – 3 weeks (10 hours)

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"This isn't the same old, same old history. I'm learning about things that matter to me."

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