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In this activity, student teams design and conduct a scientific investigation in which they explore the conditions necessary for life. They conduct observations of environmental conditions both indoor and outdoor, and determine the range of variation they see. They compare these data with published temperature data for Earth, Mars, Pluto and Venus. The activity supports inquiry into the real world challenge of searching for life in extreme environments. The resource includes several student data sheets, data table and images, and a teacher's guide. Materials needed for this activity include weather instruments (e.g., thermometers, barometers, anemometers). This is Activity A of two activities in the first module, titled "Temperature variations and habitability," of the resource, "Earth Climate Course: What Determines a Planet's Climate?" The course aims to help students to develop an understanding of our environment as a system of human and natural processes that result in changes that occur over various space and time scales.
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