Resources Details

Yellowstone ABCs

This three-part lesson ties together the concepts of pH, Yellowstone extremophiles, and the search for life beyond the Earth. In part one, students conduct a laboratory activity in which they test several substances to determine pH. In part 2, students plot the pH values of Yellowstone National Park thermal features on a pH scale, then learn about extremophiles and the types of environments in which they are found. In part 3, a brief reading connects the concepts learned in parts 1 and 2 and expands on this content.Mars and Europa are discussed as possible sites where extraterrestrial life may be found. Lastly, an exit quiz assesses student knowledge of the lesson and its major themes. Appropriate for grades 4-10

Key Concepts

pH, Yellowstone, extremophiles, life beyond Earth, astrobiology


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Part 1: 55 min, Part 2: 50 mim, Part 3: 45 min


3-5, 6-8, 9-12


Astrobiology Biogeocatalyisis Research Center

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Earth Science, Life Science, Space Science

Resource Type

Lesson Plan


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