K-12 PROGRAMS

Behind the Scenes Tours

Educator-led Biosphere 2 Adventures...

Bring your students to Biosphere 2!  We now offer special student tour experiences that your students will never forget. We make science fun!

Tour Type 1: Educator led, interactive, behind-the-scenes tours of Biosphere 2. Have your class experience a unique ‘Behind The Scenes’ Tour of Biosphere2 led by an experienced B2 educator.  By communicating with our teaching staff prior to your visit you can tailor the instruction to your current curriculum or suggest any grade appropriate emphasis. Students observe and discuss, in an age-appropriate manner, Biosphere 2, UA research, and the scientific method as they see it in action. Students will experience the special nature of each of the six amazing wilderness biomes inside the building, and the one-of-a-kind technosphere.

In addition to all spaces that a normal public tour visits, this dedicated behind-the-scenes tour (approx. 120 minutes) will include access to:

Landscape Evolution Observatory (LEO), Marine Science Lab, Ocean Beach, Research areas of Tropical Rainforest, Biospherian Library, Aquaponics Unit, and more!

Three educator-led tours to choose from (grade-level designations are suggestions, but lessons can be modified for other levels):

  • FIVE SENSES EXPEDITION - Students experience Biosphere 2, including biomes and technosphere, with an emphasis on using their five senses. Students work in small groups to make and share their observations. Designed primarily for K-8 students. 
  • STAY CURIOUS: BIOSPHERE 2, SCIENCE, AND YOU - Scientific inquiry is emphasized as students experience the Biosphere 2 biomes and technosphere. Collaboration and small-group work emphasize observation, question development, and communication. Designed primarily for grades 4-8.
  • ECOSYSTEM SERVICES - An ecosystem service is any positive benefit that nature provides, small or large, direct or indirect, such as water purification, photosynthetic oxygen production, nutrient decomposition and cycling, and pollination. Students will use the unique engineering and novel design of Biosphere 2 to gain an appreciation of what nature and ecosystems provide. The diverse biomes under glass are only possible because of the amazing technology supporting them. Students see first-hand the challenges and opportunities of replicating what happens in nature. Designed primarily for grades 6-12. (Special thanks to UA Green Fund for supporting lesson development.)

Pricing for EDUCATOR LED, BEHIND-THE-SCENES TOURS (up to 120 total group size; includes students, teachers, and adult chaperones):

  • K-12: $15 per student or chaperone (Discount Season July-December). Adult/chaperone ratio maximum 6:1, minimum 10:1. $300 flat fee for groups of 19 or fewer.

  • K-12: $17 per student or chaperone (Regular Season January-June). Adult/chaperone ratio maximum 6:1, minimum 10:1. $340 flat fee for groups of 19 or fewer.

  • Upon arrival, we ask for ONE payment for the entire group booking. Any adults not part of the group booking (e.g., above the maximum allowed number of chaperones, or additional family members, must pay the separate applicable admission fee and be assigned to a regularly scheduled public tour).

 

Tour Type 2: For those on a limited financial or temporal budget, take our group public tour (approx. 90 minutes) with a Biosphere 2 Interpretive Specialist (Public Tour Guide) to help your students appreciate the history of the Biosphere 2 building itself and learn how it is used today by University of Arizona scientists to study Earth-system science. The tour experience includes an overview of ongoing research projects, as well as interactions with University of Arizona researchers themselves whenever possible. No visit to Biosphere 2 is complete without a visit to the technosphere (specialized basement area) to see some of the machinery that controls the giant laboratory. The technosphere visit ends at the South Lung (variable volume air chamber), with the option of visiting the Ocean Gallery, time permitting.

Pricing for General Group Student Tours (up to 144 total group size; includes students, teachers, and adult chaperones):

  • K-12: $10 per student or chaperone (Discount Season July-December). Adult/chaperone ratio maximum 6:1, minimum 10:1. $200 flat fee for groups of 19 or fewer.

  • K-12: $12 per student or chaperone (Regular Season January-June). Adult/chaperone ratio maximum 6:1, minimum 10:1. $240 flat fee for groups of 19 or fewer.

  • Upon arrival, we ask for ONE payment for the entire group booking. Any adults not part of the group booking (e.g., above the maximum allowed number of chaperones, or additional family members) must pay the separate applicable admission fee and be assigned to a regularly scheduled public tour.

(*Rates effective August 15th, 2016)  

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