Astrobiology Summer Academy

No programs currently scheduled, please check back in 2018

Are you interested in learning more about life beyond the stars– or how life started on this planet? Join us at the Blue Marble Space Institute of Science Astrobiology Summer Academy to learn about astrobiology—the study of the origin, evolution, distribution, and future of life in the universe.

If you’re interested in joining our mailing list to learn about future events, please email If you have any questions, please contact Zach Grochau-Wright ( or Rika Anderson ( More information and highlights from last year are below!

Why astrobiology?
  • It provides an ideal teaching tool with which to introduce students and the public to a wide variety of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines,
  • Astrobiology asks fundamental questions about the nature of life in the universe that draws intense student interest, and creates connections across scientific disciplines.
  • These fundamental questions are of interest to students from all backgrounds (ethnic, socioeconomic, gender) opening the door to diversifying the next generation of scientists and explorers.
The Blue Marble Space Institute of Science (BMSIS) Astrobiology Academy:
  • Will engage students in hands-on, inquiry-based STEM education using astrobiology as a central theme.
  • Will be structured around scientific questions rather than topics
    to emphasize the question-focused approach to science
    to tie together the various interdisciplinary strands of astrobiology.
  • Will mentor students via researchers from the University of Arizona and the BMSIS and provide students the opportunity to interact with researchers actively working at some of the best institutions in the nation.
  • Will provide early-career researchers opportunities to design fun, rigorous, interactive lesson plans that encapsulate a “hands-on, minds-on” pedagogical philosophy appropriate for younger audiences.
We’ll explore questions like:
  • How did the Earth, the solar system, and the biosphere originate?
  • How have Earth and its biosphere evolved?
  • What does life on Earth tell us about habitability?
  • How might we detect life outside of our solar system?
  • What can astrobiology tell us about the future of life here and elsewhere?
Other features of the academy include:
  • An exhibition day in which students develop and display hands-on exhibits to teach a specific topic in astrobiology for friends, family, and the general public
  • A focus on college preparation and mentorship
  • Field trips to local geological field sites, the Flandrau Planetarium, and the Biosphere II facility

See the highlights from the Summer Academy 2016!

Highlights from the first BMSIS astrobiology summer academy, June 20-24, 2016 at the University of Arizona

[download the 2016 Astrobiology Summer Academy flyer]