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The Curriculum Cosmic Evolution Planetary Evolution Origin of Life Evolution of Life Hominid Evolution Evolution of Technology
Press Releases

Scientists and Educators Collaborate
Produce Innovative, New High School Science Curriculum:
Voyages Through Time

Mountain View, CA—The SETI Institute is pleased to announce the release of a new product for educators, Voyages Through Time. This yearlong, standards-based integrated science curriculum for ninth and tenth grade focuses on change over time in the natural world. In inquiry-based lessons, students consider scientific evidence as they explore the breadth of science.

“How does the physical and biological world change over time?” This is the question posed by Voyages Through Time, challenging students to consider the origin and development of the larger universe, our solar system, life on Earth, and us.

A collaborative team of scientists and educators at the SETI Institute, NASA, the California Academy of Sciences, and San Francisco State University developed Voyages Through Time. Student-centered, the curriculum integrates computer-based instructional and reference tools, with state-of-the-art pedagogy to support best practices in teaching and learning science.

Voyages Through Time is comprised of six modules: Cosmic Evolution, Planetary Evolution, Origin of Life, Evolution of Life, Hominid Evolution, and Evolution of Technology. The modules can be purchased as a set and used as a year-long science curriculum or used individually and embedded into astronomy, biology, life, earth and space science and other discipline-specific courses.

Each five to six week module includes teacher and student CD-ROMs, and printed student readers. The student reader for each module is a collection of up-to-date science articles on subjects relating to the lessons and activities. Voyages Through Time includes classroom laboratory experiments, computer-based simulations and database projects, individual and group activities, and student projects.

The teacher CD-ROMs contain all of the information teacher need to implement the Voyages Through Time curriculum: directions for activities, student materials, images, overhead transparency masters, lists of materials, preparation instructions, teacher reference articles, videos, science background information, science education standards, and assessment tools.

The student CD-ROM for each module contains the databases, videos, images, simulations, and a glossary of terms used in lessons and activities. Additional images and videos are provided in a library for students who wish to study further.

Cosmic Evolution

Students explore the origin and evolution of the universe and the formation of the stars, galaxies and solar systems. They consider the evidence that astronomers find to answer questions, such as “How old is the universe?” “What are the life cycles of stars?” and “What are the sources of the elements that make our bodies?”

Planetary Evolution

Students investigate Earth and compare its tectonics, surface features, and atmospheric cycles with other planets in our solar system. They explore what causes earthquakes and volcanoes, how oceans and atmospheres formed, and what makes Earth a habitable planet.

Students learn from scientists in the field and reconstruct the supercontinent Pangea.

Origin of Life

Students explore theories of how life originated on Earth and examine the fundamental characteristics and chemistry of living things, from single-celled organisms to the beginning of multicellular life. Students consider the evidence for life on earth, and how scientists investigate fossil evidence and living organisms to understand the origin of life.

Evolution of Life

Students investigate the great diversity of life on Earth today, and the mechanisms and processes that change life’s diversity over time. They explore the scientific evidence for evolution, how variations occur within populations, and the complex relationships that define species.

Activities include researching a biogeography database, microscopic observations of organisms, and creating Venn diagrams for groups of organisms.

Hominid Evolution

Students examine how early hominids became bipedal; developed larger skulls and brains; migrated out from Africa; and developed technology such as tools, language, and agriculture. They learn how anthropologists study hominid evolution, including how we have has changed over time, and the impact of tools and agriculture on early human populations.

Evolution of Technology

Students investigate the interactions between technology, science, and society. They explore the nature of technology, what the relationship is between science, invention, and engineering, how technologies change over time, and what the social and economic costs and benefits are of different technologies. This module combines the investigation of technology with student projects where students work in teams to complete a research project that focuses on one type of technology.

Voyages Through Time was developed with funding from the National Science Foundation (EISE Grant No. 9730693), the SETI Institute, NASA’s Astrobiology Institute and Fundamental Biology, Foundation for Microbiology, Hewlett-Packard Company, and Educate America. Voyages Through Time is co-published by the SETI Institute and Learning in Motion. Each module is shipped with 2 teacher CD-ROMs, 5 student CD-ROMs and 10 student readers. Additional student CDs and readers may be purchased separately. Individual modules cost $199, and the complete six-module curriculum costs $999. To order, contact Customer Service at (800) 560-5670, or order online.

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Voyages Through Time is an integrated high school science curriculum for ninth or tenth grade based on the theme of evolution and delivered on CD-ROM.