“Are You Smarter than an 8th Grader?” with Dr. FunkySpoon

Image of Comet McNaught captured by the European Southern Observatory in Chile as both the comet and the sun were setting over the Pacific Ocean. Credit: ESO.

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About This Episode

Are you smarter than an eighth grader? Now’s your chance to find out, when StarTalk All-Stars host David Grinspoon and his co-host Chuck Nice take on cosmic queries about astrobiology submitted by students at the Arroyo Vista Charter School in Chula Vista, California. You’ll hear questions from Christian, Joseph, Maria, Emma and Natalia about everything from how to become an astrobiologist to whether we have any evidence about the existence of extraterrestrial life. Explore how the amino acids and complex carbon compounds flying around the universe on comets actually make it to Earth without being destroyed. Discover the unique aspects of Earth that we think will allow life to thrive on other planets. You’ll also find out why we’re just at the beginning of being able to search for life in our universe, and what evidence we do have that suggests the potential for life on moons and exoplanets. The students’ teacher, Daniel Peluso, is on hand to discuss how he gets his students excited about science. Plus, David, Daniel and Chuck discuss the limitations of both the Common Core curriculum and the Next Generation Science Standards, and why it’s important to connect science lessons to real life.

A special thanks to cooperating teacher Dr. Dawn Gregory and the 8th grade science students at Arroyo Vista Charter School in Chula Vista, CA.

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In This Episode

  • Host

    David Grinspoon

    David Grinspoon
    All-Stars Host, Astrobiologist; Senior Scientist, Planetary Science Institute
  • Co-Host

    Chuck Nice

    Chuck Nice
    Comedian
  • Guest

    Daniel Peluso

    Daniel Peluso
    8th Grade Science Teacher, formerly at Arroyo Vista Charter School

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