Intro to Astronomy and Astrobiology: Seeking Life in the Universe

GR6-8, 7-9

Is there life elsewhere in the Universe? Are there other planets in our Solar System or in planetary systems around other stars where life originated and survived? How much like Earth do planets have to be in order to support life? Are they common or rare? In this course, we consider these and related questions from a variety of perspectives, with an emphasis on evidence supplied by astronomical observations and scientific theories. The scientific study of these questions is now commonly referred to as astrobiology, a new and rapidly expanding interdisciplinary field. 

Course areas of focus include:

  • the overall scale and organization of structures in the Universe

  • the formation of stars and planets

  • the nature and history of life on Earth

  • the physical processes that affect the habitability of planets

  • the search for life elsewhere in the Solar System

  • the current efforts to detect planets around other stars

  • the prospect of interstellar travel.

Site visits and visiting specialists! The Ti2 team engages area research institutions and industries to help students understand how people are investigating the science behind and developing innovative solutions to topics covered in this course. 

Learning entry points may include the use of storytelling, fiction and nonfiction literature and art.