Virtual Earth Science Discovery

Attention 3rd-6th grade teachers! Virtual Earth Science Discovery with Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium is now open!

Click here for the registration dates and options. Registration now open!

This exciting virtual visit will explore what is called the “Critical Zone”. The Critical Zone is the layer of the earth’s crust where we know all life to occur. Think of the skin of a peach, that is how we can relate how thin the skin of our planet is in relation to the rest of our planet. 

University of Arizona researchers from a variety of science disciplines have been conducting research at two Critical Zone Observatories (field sites) where they collaboratively study the earth’s near-surface environment where water, rock, air, and life interact in dynamic relationships that generates soils, sustains ecosystems, and shapes landscapes. 

Teachers can select from four Earth Science Discovery workshops, allowing teachers to choose what science content will best engage their students.


Workshop Content Options


  • The Unseen World of Microbes!
  • Watersheds and Where We Live!
  • Rocking Around the Rock Cycle!
  • Soils – More Than Just Dirt!

This virtual experience will include a few additional components to ensure a meaningful learning experience for students and teachers.

  1. Hands-on Pre-visit Activity exploring the Critical Zone (most materials found at home but are not included with visit)

  2. Live Virtual Visit with Flandrau host who interacts with your class to explore the Critical Zone

  3. An interview with a UA scientist to learn first-hand about their area of study and what sparked their passion for their field.

  4. Post-visit Resources for students and teachers to continue to explore the Critical Zone

Dates Offered & Costs


Monday, Wednesday & Friday at 9 am
Tuesday and Thursday at 1pm
Duration: 45 minutes to 1 hour

$75 per workshop, up to 30 students
Registration is free. An invoice for payment will be sent after the virtual workshop.

Grant Funding for Title I Schools
There is limited grant funding available for Title I schools to attend the virtual workshop at no cost. Once registered, Title I schools will be notified if they have been awarded funding. 


Workshop Requirements

  • The teacher will conduct the Pre-visit Activity 3-5 days prior to the scheduled workshop.

  • The teacher will host a Zoom session and send the link to at least 48 hours prior to the workshop.

  •  The teacher will need to make Flandrau a co-host of the Zoom session the day of the workshop.

Cancellation Policy

Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium has a 2 week Cancellation Policy. Any group that cancels with less than a 2 week notice will be charged for the full workshop, a fee of $75, and the school will be invoiced directly. There may be the option to reschedule, if available but if your group reschedules and then cancels again, regardless of notice, the $75 cancellation fee will be invoiced to the school.