ABRC is committed to sharing our work and its impact with the people of Montana and beyond, through formal and informal education; public outreach; and communications to many different audiences.
Our outreach and education activities are strengthened by many factors, including MSU's proximity to Yellowstone National Park, the expertise and experience of our faculty and close partners, the outstanding commitment from our MSU students to share their work with the public, and a rich network of partners, including the Montana Library Association, Museum of the Rockies, Space Public Outreach Team and and Hopa Mountain. We also work closely with the other teams from the NASA Astrobiology Institute.
Science of the Springs
A guidebook to Yellowstone astrobiology sites. Grades 6-12.
See all "Science of the Springs" resources.
- Science of the Springs Reading Guide [385 KB PDF]
Questions and activities for students to work through after reading the Science of the Springs guide to astrobiology in Yellowstone National Park.
- Science of the Springs Answer Key [386 KB PDF]
- Science of the Springs Student Teacher Guide [96 KB PDF]
- Science of the Springs Power Point Presentation [13.3 MB PPT]
In this presentation, students learn the same general information that is presented in the Science of the Springs booklet. The Powerpoint gives a general overview of astrobiology and explains why NASA researchers are studying Yellowstone. Topics include extremophiles, Yellowstone National Park thermal sites important to research, and habitability.
- Science of the Springs Power Point Guide [87 KB PDF]
The Search for the Origin of Life
The Search for the Origin of Life takes a personal look at scientists around the United States working with the NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI) to understand the origin of life. Travel with them to some of our planet Earth's most extreme environments — from the frozen glaciers of the Canadian Rockies, to the inhospitable thermal springs of Yellowstone National Park, and to mysterious caves in Italy.
See all "The Search for the Origin of Life" resources.
Life is All Around Us
Book designed to help children aged 3 through 8 understand the most basic concept of astrobiology.
See all "Life is All Around Us" resources
Buckets of Planets
In this activity, children analyze descriptions of planets and decide which one is most likely to support life. They then search for microbial life by digging through buckets representing the planets. This can be a short demo or a longer in-depth activity. Ages 5 to adult.
- Buckets of Planets -- Complete Set [1.6 MB PDF]
- Buckets of Planets -- Teacher Guide [261 KB PDF]
- Buckets of Planets -- Planet Profiles [1.4 MB PDF]
Planet in a Bottle / Extreme Planet Project
In this activity, students learn the basic principles behind the Goldilocks zone, extremophiles, and astrobiology through a reading, two experiments, and a project. In part one, students conduct experiments on three simulated planets in bottles and collect data on each planet’s suitability for life. In part two, students build their own simulated planet and explore changes variables to make planets more or less hospitable to life. Lastly, students can design their own planet using NASA web resources then create an extremophile that would live on the planet. Grades 5-12.
Students estimate the number of intelligent civilizations in our Milky Way by using observations and predictions based on NASA data. Grades 6-12.
- The Drake Equation -- Teacher Guide [425 KB PDF]
Astrobiology Short Course
This interactive course is designed to give you an introduction to Astrobiology that you can work through at your own pace and return to at any time. Designed for upper elementary and middle school teachers, this course also contains relevant information and resources for formal and informal educators working with other age groups. The course consists of four units covering topics such as life, DNA, evolution, and our solar system. GO TO THE COURSE >>
- Professional development for teachers
- Activities for grades K-5
- Community Lecture Series
- Science events for youth and families
- Outreach programs for rural libraries in Montana
- Profiles of women in science