Beginning this week, the University of Arizona’s Biosphere 2 will offer two week-long, residential summer science programs. The Biosphere 2 Summer Science Academy is designed to give middle and high school students an immersive experience in current, cutting-edge environmental science research, and to develop leadership and teamwork skills. The program is part of a larger effort to offer a diverse selection of science experiences at Biosphere 2.
“We know that students in these age groups are eager to have fun, meaningful, and hands-on science experiences. Science should be about doing science, not just reading about it in textbooks,” said Kevin Bonine, Biosphere 2’s Director of Education & Outreach. “Biosphere 2 offers an inspirational setting for collaborative science activity, and our student village is a great place to have kids stay at the research facility in residence.”
In addition to developing and conducting science experiments with Biosphere 2 researchers, the participants will journey to the UA main campus to visit the Flandrau Science Center and Steward Observatory Mirror Lab. A morning trip to the UA desert ropes course is planned as part of the leadership component of the week’s agenda. Emulating university researchers at scientific conferences, participants will present their findings at the end of the week.
“One of our goals is to have the B2 facility vigorously in use year-round for education and outreach,” said Bonine. “The academy program allows us to both meet one of our mission goals - to increase public scientific understanding - and at the same time maximize the use of our facility in a meaningful way during a traditionally slower time of the year for us.”
More than 80 middle and high school students will be part of the Summer Science Academy. Students will be coming from Canada, Mexico, and the US – including from more than a dozen states. With its diverse international composition, the Biosphere 2 Summer Science Academy highlights the global value of the UA Science facility and provides an unmatched opportunity for youth from North America to learn from both peers and top scientists.
Other than transportation costs for participants to make their way to and from Biosphere 2, the program fee is all-inclusive. “We’ll house and feed participants in very nice accommodations, transport them around town, and provide a state-of-the-art science experience,” explained Bonine. “And, our program cost is very competitive with similar, residential science programs around the country.”
“Biosphere 2, a department in the UA College of Science, takes seriously its role in training southern Arizona’s young leaders of tomorrow who will increasingly rely on science for everything from communications and transportation, to healthcare and a whole host of careers,” added Bonine.
For more detailed program information,visit b2science.org/outreach/sciacademy, or call 838-6192.