Mission Too Risky?
Troy D. Wood, University at Buffalo
Following a public hearing format, this case study allows
students to explore the scientific and public policy issues
surrounding the advisability of a return mission to Mars for
further sampling and, more generally, the question of whether or
not there is life on that planet. The case was developed for a
non-science majors course called "Great Discoveries in Science"
and serves to illustrate the scientific method and the
importance of interdisciplinary efforts in scientific research.
Appropriate for high school
astronomy classes, and college undergraduate general science
How Does Silex Strobilus
Replicate? D. E. Allen. Thinking Toward
Solutions: Problem-Based Learning Activities for General
D. E. and Duch, B. J. (1998). New York: Saunders
A hypothetical newly discovered
organism. Students investigate replication, the definition
of life (it is not carbon-based), and the structure of its DNA.
Are We Alone in the
Universe? The Search for Life on Other Planets.
An interactive problem which explores the implications of
discovering extremophiles and nanobes on the search for life on
other planets. The problem helps students uses what they
learn about characteristics of life on earth, and these recent
discoveries, to re-conceptualize what they're understand about
the very nature of life on earth.
On file in PBL