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Educator Resource: Curriculum Module

Perplexing Puddles

Can life be found nearly one-mile underground? If so, what does it look like and how does it survive in such an extreme environment? Might biologists be on the trail of biologic dark matter?
Level
High School

Students consider what attributes define life, and then use those ideas to hypothesize what life nearly one mile underground might be like, if it exists. Students gather information about the microenvironments in Sanford Underground Research Facility and consider the likelihood of life in such extreme conditions. Students learn about extremophiles, culture an everyday biofilm, and observe the biofilm to draw conclusions about the potential for life underground.