Plan your summer with the Arizona Science Center

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Jun 17, 2021, 11:39 AM | Updated: Jun 21, 2021, 2:49 am



Arizona Science Center has long been a place of inspiration, education, and engagement through science. In support of that mission, the PNC Foundation has given a $50,000 grant to offer STEM-based activities to young children and professional development workshops to early learning educators.

“PNC knows that a foundation in quality early learning is vital for preparing children to develop essential skills and to be kindergarten-ready,” PNC Vice President of Client and Community Relations Lourdes Sierra said in a news release.

From camps to new exhibitions, there’s something for everyone in your family this summer at Arizona Science Center. Whether you visit or sign your child up for an in-person or virtual camp, here are a few opportunities to look forward to.

POP! The Science of Bubbles

Soap meets science in this hands-on exhibition that lets you make bubbles with wands of different shapes and sizes or stand while a giant bubble forms around you. There is also a massive bubble drop every 15-20 minutes.

“The whole family will learn the science behind what makes bubbles even possible: Concepts like elasticity, surface tension, evaporation, and geometry all play into an educational experience bursting with fun,” said Dean Briere, Arizona Science Center’s Interim CEO.

The Art and Science of Arachnids

Whether you’re drawn to eight-legged creatures in life, art, and pop culture, or don’t want to pass on a fear of spiders to your kids, this exhibition is for you. “This is not a typical ‘bug’ exhibit,” continued Briere. “This is a people exhibit, some really awesome art and really interesting arachnids.”

Open May 28 to Jan. 2, the exhibition is divided into three cubes, featuring 100 live arachnids. The science cube showcases arachnids that are not spiders or scorpions. The art cube illustrates arachnids featured in movies, books, and music. The culture cube highlights arachnid folklore and mythology, conservation, and arachnids as food.

Here are some activities you can do during your visit:

  • Weave a web with a giant model of an orb weaver spider.
  • See a photography exhibition.
  • Conduct experiments in the spider lab.
  • Relax with a book in Cob Web Corner.
  • Learn about silk, and try on a Kevlar vest.
  • Discover the adaptations of fangs, stingers, and claws.
  • Learn how arachnids grow.
  • Assemble an arachnid with large puzzle pieces to learn anatomy.
  • Dance the tarantella, an Italian folk dance.
  • Control a video image of a tarantula to coordinate its walking.
  • Compare your size to prehistoric and modern-day arachnids.
  • Meet live arachnids.

Build It

Try your hand at being an architect, structural engineer, or materials scientist by designing and constructing objects, like bridges and buildings. From June 19 to Jan. 17, you can build, test, and tinker with cardboard, Lego pieces, blocks, and other materials.

“Let your imagination run wild in this fun and engaging hands-on exhibition that inspires teamwork and creativity through design,” said Briere.


Kids can attend in-person or virtual camps to explore STEM subjects — science, technology, engineering, and math.

CAMP INNOVATION provides kids opportunities to collaborate and explore STEM concepts through fun, hands-on challenges designed to build confidence, persistence, and creative problem-solving skills.

In-person camps include the following:

  • Creepy-crawlers, Nature, STEM Oh my! (Grades 1 to 2)
  • Astro camp (Grades 3 to 6 and 7 to 8)
  • Behind the Scenes Science (Grades 1 to 6)
  • Build It (Grades 1 to 6)
  • “Best of” camp (Grades 1 to 6)
  • #GirlsInStem (Grades 8 to 10)

Virtual camps include Mix it up and Build it camps for Grades 1 to 6 (separated by age) that offer a daily 90-minute video call, one-on-one instruction from staff, resources for at-home activities, a materials kit, and an optional family video call for campers to share their work.

Early childhood education

As we look forward to fall and the return to the classroom, the PNC Foundation grant, will allow Arizona Science Center to reach an estimated 2,100 children and 250 educators.

Those children will be able to take part in Preschool Science on Wheels, which hosts programs virtually and at preschools, libraries, and community resource centers. Early learning educators can take advantage of professional development trainings that align with national and statewide standards.

“We are eager to serve as a strong corporate citizen in Arizona and are proud to support the Science Center’s early learning opportunities,” said Cathleen Walker, PNC regional president and head of corporate banking for Arizona, in a news release.

For details about Arizona Science Center exhibits, tickets, camp sign-ups, and more, visit

For more information about PNC, visit

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