Learning Astrobiology 101 with experiments in Baja California, Mexico
Laboratorio de Astrobiología, Instituto de Astronomía, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México Km 103 Carretera Tijuana-Ensenada, 22860 Ensenada, B. C., Mexico
2 Instituto de Estudios Avanzados de Baja California, A. C., Blvd. Tte. Azueta #147, 22800 Ensenada, B. C., Mexico
Published online: 1 February 2019
We present our experience teaching the subject ‘Astrobiology 101’ (“Introducción a la Astrobiología”, in Spanish), given in the University of Baja California at Ensenada, Mexico, since 2004 up to the present. The place of Astrobiology in Mexico, as well as the local academic context in Baja California are presented, as we consider that the multidisciplinary academic environment plays an important role in the motivation of our students. We describe the course itself, its materials, and resources. The course was designed based on classical books as well as news, academic papers, and internet sources. After seven editions of the course, we have noted that making practical experiments improves the understanding of concepts, ideas, and also strengths the interaction among students with different majors. This course has received support by means of an educational grant which objective is to compile all the experimental and hands-on activities in two manuals: one for students and the other for the teachers These manuals will be available to all the Spanish-speaker teachers who want to teach the full course or part of it, as well as those only interested in the hands-on activities. Locally, the establishment of the new Astrobiology Laboratory, in the Institute of Astronomy (UNAM, Campus Ensenada), surely will help us to increase the opportunities on research and education for our students, as well as visiting students and teachers.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2019
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.