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Are We Alone?

young astronaut looking for life on mars The year is 2032 and your middle-school explorers have successfully achieved a manned mission to Mars! After establishing criteria to help look for signs of life, they conduct a scientific experiment in which they evaluate three “Martian” soil samples and determine if any contains life.

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Lesson: Extract DNA from a Banana

BananasIn this lab activity, students in grades 5 through 9 use a salt/detergent mixture to make a piece of a banana water soluble. Then they add cold ethanol to precipitate a froth of white DNA from the solution. With careful technique the slender threads are wound onto a glass rod for observation of deoxyribonucleic acid, the master code or blueprint of all organisms.

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Research Collaborators Encounter Mystery

ZebrafishHigh School biology students in Valders, Wis. are raising zebra fish as part of a research project being conducted by students at the University of Wisconsin-Manitowoc. Or at least they’re trying. But the grant-funded project, intended to interest high schoolers in STEM, has encountered a problem: dying fish.

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