Mars for Earthlings > Lesson Modules > Origin of Life

Origin of Life

Julia Kahmann-Robinson PhD and Marjorie Chan PhD, University of Utah Department of Geology & Geophysics
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Share hypotheses on the origins of life on planet Earth and their plausibility on Mars.

Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

Context for Use

This module is meant for adaptation in an Earth science course, particularly a segment discussing Pre-Cambrian/Hadean environmental conditions on Earth. Biology instructors are also encouraged to adapt this material.

Description and Teaching Materials

Compiled In-Class Activities and Homework

In-Class Activity

Teaching Notes and Tips

  1. Encourage a discussion about the requirements of life and what "life" means in the In-Class Activity
  2. Have students determine the viability of the Miller-Urey Experiment as theory for the origin of life.


Methods of assessment are within each individual In-Class Activity and Homework.

References and Resources

  1. Miller-Urey Experiment YouTube Video:
  2. NASA Astrobiology Institute- NAI: