A small group of explorers stands beneath an open dome of night sky as pinpricks of starlight glitter against the expanse's dark blues and blacks. Each spot of light even seems to look much clearer from here—likely because the group is standing 9,157 feet above sea level. At the Stewart Observatory inside Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter at the mountain's summit, scientists guide visitors through the use of gear such as a 32-inch Schulman telescope—the state's largest public viewing telescope—to probe the far reaches of space to learn about celestial phenomena and take in magnified images of the universe just above.
Days and nights at the center bring a slew of learning experiences to budding astronomers. Accompanied by University of Arizona scientists, Discovery Days lead explorations of topics such as tree rings, hummingbirds, and meteorology, frequently beckoning students into the surrounding outdoors. During nightly SkyNights programming, groups summit Mt. Lemmon for a five-hour evening of dining and stargazing at the observatory. One-on-one time with heavenly bodies comes courtesy of Astronomer Nights, wherein site staffers grant singles or pairs lodging, private access to the Schulman telescope, and the chance to contribute directly to the field upon discovering a supernova, nebula, or handlebar mustache on the man in the moon.
Periodically, the scientific team also expounds on specific topics, such as digital celestial imaging, with the public in multiple-day workshops. Each participant builds on the Stewart Observatory's list of achievements since 1970, which include furthering infrared astronomy, surveying the moon for Apollo lunar landings, and searching for near-Earth asteroids.
Located on the University of Arizona’s campus, the Flandrau Science Center and Planetarium opens the eyes of all ages to the scientific wonders of our planet, solar system, and universe. The center houses a mineral collection that dates back to 1892, and now holds more than 26,000 specimens including meteorites and minerals from Arizona, Mexico, and elsewhere in the world. They also feature exhibits such as an exploration of Arizona’s Sky Islands—mountains that rise above the desert basins and shelter myriad plants, birds, and animals. Other exhibits include Mars: Up Close and Personal, which features a scale model of the red planet’s surface.
Tucson Stained Glass sprawls its diverse selection of glass-related supplies, tools, and workstations across 5,000 square feet of space. The shop's diverse selection of classes showcases the artistic versatility of glass, appealing to an assortment of interests with sessions in glass casting, fused mosaics, wire wrapping, and more. Amid its uninhibited creativity, Tucson Stained Glass also keeps shelves upon shelves stocked with materials, such as glass for cabinet doors and skylights.
A nationally renowned tutoring program, Sylvan Learning utilizes a personalized tutoring approach to develop students of all ages and abilities into perceptive pupils. During the initial visit, children will partake in one subject test that highlights trouble areas and serves as a base line for future progress. An erudite educator then leads four one-hour tutoring sessions tailored to young minds' particular needs in subjects such as math, reading, writing, and the ethics of alligator wrestling. Fledgling polymaths can use their customized tutoring sessions to prepare for future algebra tests or fine-tune study skills to get a head start on memorizing next year’s phone book.
Spend a month at Power & Physique Systems to whittle away excess body bark using state-of-the-art cardio machines and a schedule of diverse group-fitness classes, including cardio boxing, Zumba, and dynamactivity, a weight-loss workout that combines kettlebells and band work with lots of waist-melting torso exercises. Stomachs seeking one-on-one attention can book a personal trainer to help sculpt flabby growlers into chiseled six-packs over the course of two sessions ($120). Meanwhile, skilled therapists can rid newly shaped shapes of tension during a 60-minute Swedish massage ($55), reducing neck pain caused by flirty hair swinging and science-class daydreams.