Searching Water in Solar System (LS-IT-301)

“No water, no life”. We engaged students aged 15-16 in a learning scenario that links the history of solar system discoveries with recent researches about evidence of water in solar system planets and satellites. 

The scenario, suitable for students aged 15-16, can also be tested with younger ones. The aim is to help students to develop the ability to gather reliable information and use it to have their own opinion about space research and its relevance for our society. Moreover, the activities included in the learning scenario helps students to understand the water molecule peculiarities and its importance for life.

What do students have to do?

The learning model chosen is inquiry-based. The discussion, and the whole activity, is guided with the following questions:

  1. What did our ancestors know about the solar system? What do we know today?
  2. “Where there is water there is life”:  which are the properties of water important for life?
  3. Where would you look for life in the solar system?

Students are divided into groups: they look for information on Europeana Collections about the presence of water on solar system planets and satellites and perform simple experiments on water properties. Based on the results, each group elaborates the proposal of a space mission in search of water on a planet or satellite. 

The material designed by students will be used to realize an exhibition that will be set up in the classrooms and in a Science Fair (Scienza Under 18*) that will be held in Pavia.

*The annual Scienza Under 18 science event, which should have been held on 13 and 14 May, is also postponed to a later date.

Would you like to know more about this learning scenario? You can download it below:

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The featured image used to illustrate this article has been found on Europeana Collections and belongs to the public domain.

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