Are We Alone?
All web seminar participants use online tools that allow them to mark-up presenter's slides or share desktop applications in addition to engaging in chat with others online and answering poll questions

This Web Seminar was developed in collaboration with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and Arizona State University’s (ASU) Mars Education Program. The event took place on December 6, 2007, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Eastern Time. The presenter was Dr. Jim Rice, a member of the science team on the Mars Exploration Rovers program. Dr. Rice talked about Astrobiology, extreme environments, some of the extreme places we have found life thriving on Earth, and the applications of these to Mars exploration.

The presenter addressed the following three key questions during the program: (1) What is life? (2) What does life require? (3) What are life’s limits? He concluded that since robotic missions are limited in their ability to search for life, human exploration is being planned for the Moon, Mars and beyond.

Fifty-three (53) participants were present at the live Web Seminar in addition to the presenter, the moderator, and the NSTA staff. Participating educators represented the states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, and Wyoming. One participant attended the program from Colombia and another from Spain. All participants received a one year subscription to an NSTA SciGuide for completing the evaluation form at the end of the program.

Here are some comments provided by the participants at the end of the Web Seminar:

  • "The pictures are great, the content very simulating, also all the participants
    gave me valuable questions and ideas that I can use in my class.”
  • “I feel that getting the chance to hear directly from the mission scientists
    is one of the best aspects of these seminars.”
  • “I was fascinated by the information learned about "blueberries" on Mars.”
  • “The presentation was great. Thank you for all the information that this
    seminar contained. Please continue to provide these kinds of topics especially
    as we explore more.”

Thanks to the participants and the presenter for the learning opportunity, the interactions, and a job well done!


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Underwritten by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory