SCP 105 – Life in the Universe

Eppich, Helmut. Galaxy 1. ©1994. LaGuardia Community College. Photo by Dina Pizzarello.©2020.

Course content

Homework and Assignments

Homework modules were developed MyOpenMath and piloted in Spring 2019 classes. MyOpenMath is a free, open source, online course management system for mathematics and other quantitative fields. Functions include randomizing questions, online tests, discussion forum, and automatic grading.

Enrolled students will receive information from the instructor to access their course.

Free E-Textbook 

The faculty are writing an astrobiology textbook that will be piloted in Spring 2020 classes.

Astronomy is optional. The textbook is free to read online and download PDF or Kindle.  (Book URL:

Fraknoi, A., Morrison, D., & Wolff, S. (2016). Astronomy. Houston, Texas : OpenStax. Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0

Download Calibre software for converting and managing e-books

Textbook problem solutions

To access OpenStax free ancillary resources, such as lecture slides and solutions to problems, create a free account for faculty or students.

Lab Handouts, Manuals and Safety

SCP 105 Lab Handouts and Manuals

  • Laboratory manuals development is under consideration.

Forms and Lab Safety

(Source: LAGCC Natural Sciences Department)


The syllabus contains information on Course materials, Instructional Objectives,  Grading Scheme and Standards, Homework Assignments, Attendance and other policies, Class schedule and instructors, and Laboratory requirements and experiments.

Download Spring 2020 or view online Spring 2020 (to be added)

Course Description

This class explores the possibility that life exists elsewhere in the Universe. To investigate this topic, it is necessary to define what we mean by life and then discuss its origins and evolution. Topics covered in the course include identifying potential worlds where life could thrive, the properties of stars that could host habitable worlds, interstellar travel, and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. Prerequisites: CSE099, ENA/ENG099, ESA099, ENC101, MAT096. 3 credits; 3 hours

Some of the links require login credentials and can be accessed via MyLaGuardia.

Physics and Astronomy Open Educational Resources

  • Physics and Astronomy OER
  • Ad Astra Undergraduate Research Newsletter
    Ad Astra is a newsletter where faculty, staff and students at LaGuardia Community College from different disciplines showcase their ongoing and latest research initiatives, scientific and academic accomplishments.  Ad Astra presents snippets of new scientific findings, puzzles to challenge your brain and useful information about usual and unusual career paths and possibilities following graduation.