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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Five things to look out for in Science City this weekend

    Bailey Bellavance
    Children play at a stream table at the UA Department of Geosciences booth in Science City at last year’s Tucson Festival of Books. The stream table, along with many other hands-on activities, will be available during the festival in the six Science City neighborhoods.

    BIO5 and the UA College of Science is presenting the fifth annual Science City event at the Tucson Festival of Books.

    There will be a variety of presentations, demonstrations and hands-on activities. Additionally, there will be a live animal show and a tour of two UA research facilities.

    “This year, Science City has grown to include over 80 participants and 10 open houses,” said Elliott Cheu, co-chair of the Science City Executive Committee and associate dean here at the UA. “A new neighborhood called ‘Science in Art’ will feature the intersection of science and art, and showcase activities such as how waves form sounds and music and producing paint from minerals. Many other hands-on activities will be available, such as forensic chemistry, the cellphone ‘germ-meter’ and food from bugs.”

    Here are five things that you don’t want to miss out on this weekend:

    Tours of the research facilities

    Science City will be offering tours of UA research laboratories and open houses of various labs and libraries on campus this year.

    Two of these are the Richard F. Caris Mirror Lab and the UA Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research.

    The Richard F. Caris Mirror Lab houses a team of scientists and engineers who create large, lightweight mirrors that are used in optical and infrared telescopes.

    The UA Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research focuses on a multitude of research topics including geochemistry, archaeology and paleoecology, which all utilize dendrochronology, the dating and analysis of tree ring patterns. This is where the modern science of dendrochronology was established and continues to be a leading center for the advancement and application of tree ring techniques.

    Tours for the mirror lab will be held at 527 National Championship Drive in room 61B every half hour from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. The tour of the tree-ring lab will occur at the Bryant Bannister Tree Ring building in room 101 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

    The Dry Ice Volcano

    The Department of Geosciences will be making a 3-foot-tall model volcano, made from a 55-gallon drum, which will erupt three times a day during the festival. This event has been taking place for the last several years and is something that you’ll want to check out. See the eruption at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday.

    Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum Live Animal Show

    The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum will be bringing a variety of animals native to the Sonoran Desert to the festival, including a number of reptiles and insects. This event will take place at 10 a.m. both Saturday and Sunday in Science City on the Science Stage.

    Science speakers

    There will be a number of science speakers covering various topics over the weekend in Science City on the Science Stage.

    These talks will include biodiversity at 11:30 a.m., climate change at 1 p.m., space exploration and new frontiers at 2:30 p.m. and science careers at 4 p.m on Saturday. There are several speakers on Sunday as well, covering topics such as the science of Shakespeare at 1 p.m. and the solar system at 2:30 p.m.

    UA Flandrau Science Center and Planetarium Open House

    Between the exhibits and interactive activities about space, biology, chemistry and physics, Flandrau Science Center and Planetarium has something for everyone. The planetarium provides an exciting experience for people of all ages.

    Exhibits include “Puzzles, Proofs and Patterns,” “From Tucson to the Moon,” “Light beyond the Bulb,” “Fossil Corner,” the “Mineral Museum” and more.

    Flandrau will hold an open house from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. 

    Follow Exene Anderson on Twitter.

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