Arizona Science Wonders Day Tour

We’ll take you from Earth to space and back – and you’ll see the world in a whole new way.

You’ll hear the amazing science stories of Tucson as you visit the Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium, the Richard F. Caris Mirror Lab (where UAZ builds the world’s biggest telescope mirrors!), and the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research (tree-ring science was invented at the University of Arizona!).

All The Science Highlights

The tour begins at Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium at the University of Arizona where you’ll learn about the rich history of scientific innovation in Southern Arizona. 

  • Did you know that the U of A mapped the moon and played a key role in all the moon missions leading up to Apollo 11 when humans first walked on the moon?
  • Did you know that there is more biodiversity (more plants, animals, insects, birds, etc.) in Southern Arizona than anywhere else in the United States?
  • Did you know that Tucson was the birthplace of modern Ecology? 

Those are some of the stories you’ll hear. And you’ll learn about exciting new science happening at UA, like NASA’s groundbreaking OSIRIS-REx mission. For the first time ever, the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will capture a sample from a primitive asteroid and bring that sample back to Earth for analysis. The University of Arizona conceived of the mission, and now leads the mission for NASA!

You’ll also visit the one-of-a-kind Richard F. Caris Mirror Lab where we build the world’s largest telescope mirrors. Located underneath the UA football stadium, the Mirror Lab uses ingenious engineering to build giant mirrors for the world’s most powerful telescopes. 

And you’ll explore the UA’s Tree Ring Lab where you’ll learn how the science of tree rings (called dendrochronology) was invented here at UAZ! This branch of scientific research has transformed our understanding of atmosphere, climate, and wildfires.

In between site visits, tour guests will enjoy lunch at Gentle Bens, one of the restaurants in the Main Gate Square shopping district near the historic main entrance to the University.

And the group will experience a planetarium show in Flandrau’s Eos Foundation Planetarium Theater. The theater was fully renovated in 2016 and it delivers an immersive sensory experience that visitors will never forget. Planetarium shows cover a range of science topics.