Outreach Groups and Activities
The Arizona/NASA Space Grant Consortium, headquartered at LPL, contributes to the nation's science enterprise by implementing research, education and public service projects through a national network of university-based Space Grant consortia.
The Art of Planetary Science is an annual art exhibition run by UA's Lunar and Planetary Laboratory that celebrates the beauty and elegance of science. It was founded by graduate students in 2013 as a public outreach project to engage the local community in our work, and continues to be organized and run by volunteer students each year. The goal behind the show is to present a different side of science to the public, and to show you what we think is beautiful about the solar system. As scientists, it is our job to create knowledge, a process that requires thought, creativity, attention to detail, and imagination. Scientists are encouraged to produce artwork for the show that is created from scientific data, or incorporates scientific ideas, to give you new perspective on why we are passionate about our work. We also ask artists to submit artwork that is inspired by those same themes, and to show us how they view science from their own lens. This event is a very powerful way to bridge the gap between the local science and art communities, and to show how very interconnected the scientific and artistic processes are.
The mission of the Kuiper Circle is to increase awareness of and participation in science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) educational opportunities for and by our community; and assist the University of Arizona's Lunar and Planetary Laboratory maintain its pre-eminence as the leading planetary research institution in the U.S.
Each fall semester, the LPL Evening Lecture Series presents LPL scientists discussing their latest scientific research and space mission projects.Lectures (including time for Q&A) are held on Tuesday evenings, 7:00 to 8:00 p.m., in Kuiper Space Sciences Room 308. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. All lectures are free and open to the community.
Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter is an exceptional science learning facility located at Steward Observatory's "sky island" observing site. The SkyCenter builds upon the uniqueness of the 9,157 foot summit of Mt. Lemmon and the extensive knowledge base at the University of Arizona to deliver educational programs, including:
- SkyNights StarGazing Program: open to the public most nights of the year using the Southwest's largest dedicated public telescope! This unique, awe-inspiring opportunity allows guests to peer beyond the blue horizons of our southwestern skies and explore the astronomical wonders of the Universe. The five hour program lets visitors navigate the night sky with binoculars and sky charts, and view spectacular planets, galaxies, and nebulae with our Schulman 32-inch telescope, the largest dedicated public observing telescope in Arizona.
- UA Sky School: year-round residential science programs (1-5 days) open to Arizona 4th -12th grade students at a 25-acre campus on Mt. Lemmon and in the Coronado National Forest. Programs focus on core University of Arizona science areas such as sky island ecology, geology, tree ring science, and astronomy, and meet state and national science standards.
The OSIRIS-REx mission is an Asteroid Sample Return Mission—Exploring our Past, Securing our Future through Pioneering Asteroid Science. Material returned is expected to enable scientists to learn more about the time before the formation and evolution of the Solar System, initial stages of planet formation, and the source of organic compounds which led to the formation of life.
Space Drafts is a public talk series on science. Originally started as a talk series by Vanessa Bailey and Rob Zellem, Space Drafts (as we still call ourselves because AoTTUS is pretty tortured) now comes with
- trivia (we have cool prizes to give away)
- star-gazing (if the monsoon cooperates)
- a local food truck serving up deliciousness
- and puppies (no really, we have mascots)
The Space Imagery Center at the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory is a research collection of NASA planetary photography, cartographic products, and technical documentation. Established in 1977, the Center is one of 17 NASA Regional Planetary Image Facilities around the world. These facilities collect and disseminate planetary mission data to local scientists, students, educators and the media.
The Teaching Teams Program provides dynamic resources for learning and instruction at the University of Arizona. The Teaching Teams approach to learning, curriculum building, and instruction is easy to use, and is successful across disciplines. It is the oldest and largest program of its kind on campus.
LPL hosts the University of Arizona Chapter of Students for the Exploration and Development of Space.