K-12 Programs

Under The Glass And Off The Beaten Path

Under The Glass And Off The Beaten Path

Biosphere 2’s K-12 program offerings highlight specific components of the NEXT GENERATION SCIENCE STANDARDS – CORE DISCIPLINE PRACTICES CROSSCUTTING CONCEPTS (www.nextgenscience.org)

Behind The Scenes Ecosystem Services Expeditions


An ecosystem service is any positive benefit that nature provides, small or large, direct or indirect, such as water purification, photosynthetic oxygen production, nutrient cycling, decomposition, and pollination. The unique engineering and novel design of Biosphere 2 helps students gain an appreciation of how and 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.

  • K-4 – focus: Observation & Recording using Five Senses
  • 5-8 – focus: Modeling Ecosystem Processes & Interactions
  • 9+ – focus: Measuring & Comparing Environmental Conditions (Soil, Water, Air) in Biosphere 2

Have your class experience a unique Behind-the-Scenes Expedition (BSE) of Biosphere 2 led by an experienced Biosphere 2 staff educator. Students will use multiple senses, conduct small group activities, and communicate observations and explanations. The BSE provides a close look at UA research in Biosphere 2 and the scientific method in action. Students will experience the special nature of each of the many amazing wilderness biomes inside the building, and the one-of-a-kind technosphere that supports the facility.

In addition to all spaces that a standard public tour visits, the BSE typically includes supervised access to: Landscape Evolution Observatory (LEO), Marine Science Lab, Ocean Beach, research areas of the Tropical Rainforest, Biosphere 2 Crew Library, Aquaponics Unit, and more!

These expeditions include observation, inquiry, behind the scenes exploration, and hands-on engagement as students learn how the planet works and why Earth systems are valuable to humans. 150+ minutes.

$18 per person for a group of 20 participants or more, $360 flat rate for 19 participants or less. For group sizes above 90 students, additional charge of $10 per person (including chaperones) applies to cover additional activity stations. Maximum group size is 180 participants.

Chaperone/Teacher to student ratio, for Biosphere 2 programs, is at least 1:10 and no more than 1:6.


520-621-3960 or BIO2-GROUP@email.arizona.edu