Communicating our science to the public is an essential part of the Advent of Complex Life mission and of NASA's Astrobiology Program. We fulfill this mission through workshops, public events, and web-based educational modules and resources. To learn more, please contact Education and Public Outreach Lead Dr. Phoebe Cohen.
Astrobiology Comic Books
Telling Your Story - Success!
We ran our first Telling Your Story workshop on February 9th. This event brought together local teachers and Harvard and MIT scientists to form partnerships that will result in classroom visits. If you are a local teacher or scientist interested in joining a future TYS workshop, please email Phoebe Cohen at firstname.lastname@example.org . For more information check out the Telling Your Story page. Check out a few photos from the event here.
Our Education and Outreach projects are flourishing!
On November 17th, Peter Mangiafico and Phoebe Cohen led a two hour teacher workshop on Astrobiology for the Woods Hole Science and Technology Partnership (WHSTEP). Teachers learned about what Astrobiology is, why it's a great way to teach students basic science concepts, and tried out three hands-on activities for easy transference into the classroom. Then they visited the lab of Dr. Linda Amaral-Zettler to learn about her research on acid-loving microbes from the Rio Tinto in Spain. Most of the activities presented at the workshop can be found in the Astrobiology Teachers Guide. Check out a few photos from the event.
"The Safari was great. We all left with a much broader appreciation of defining life and the challenges of recognizing it outside of the framework of what is familiar to us on earth. I've been to most of the WHSTEP Science Safaris over the years. This one was a 10 out of 10." ~ Bob Laquidara, science department chair, Lawrence Junior High School
Are you a research scientist, grad student, or post doc interested in getting more involved in outreach? Or a K-12 teacher who wants to connect to local scientists to interact with your students? Please check out our upcoming Telling Your Story workshop for scientists and teachers to learn more and get involved.
Check out information on our series of online learning experiences for classroom integration, called WebQuests.
Family Program @ HMNH
Education and Outreach coordinator Phoebe Cohen led a family day program on October 17th at 2:00pm at the Harvard Museum of Natural History entitled From Trilobites to Extraterrestrials: Exploring Life on Earth and Beyond. The successful program educated and entertained 40 participants, including kids, parents, and HMNH volunteer docents, who learned about how paleontologists decide what's a fossil and what isn't, how that might help us find life on other planets, how we find exoplanets, and what we might find on them. Watch the video!
Chalking Earth History
Co-PI Ann Pearson and Education and Outreach Coordinator Phoebe Cohen are teaming up with volunteers from MIT and Harvard to create earth-history themed murals on the wall's of Harvard's Earth and Planetary Sciences building. For the first iteration, each mural showed a snapshot of the position of the continents during the Paleozoic, Mesozoic, and Cenozoic time periods, as well as representative animals that lived in the oceans and on land during each time period. We're hoping to continue this project throughout the year, showcasing Earth history, Geobiology, and Astrobiology research (and artistic talent!) at Harvard and MIT. Check out some images from the first murals and read a Harvard Gazette article about the project. Check out images from the second set (on plant life) and the third set (on climate records).
Advent of Complex Life Video Series
All of the videos that are part of the Advent of Complex Life Video Series feature short videos of paleontologists and biologists on the team speaking about important topics, as well as screencasts that visually explain concepts like geologic time. These videos mainly focusing on life and environments in the Ediacaran time period. The level of the videos is appropriate for the general public and can be used in classroom settings for educational activities, such as webquests.