Tucson Festival of Books

Science City at the 2023 Festival

The following organizations are offering activities during the festival. Neighborhood assignments will be updated in February. Learn more about the topics you're interested in by reading one of the recommended books.

All of Us Research Program

Medical research hasn’t always seen you. We’re changing that.

Arizona Master Naturalist Association (Pima Chapter)

Discover your desert neighbors: Identify the signs of desert wildlife.
Recommended reading:
  • A Natural History of the Sonoran Desert by Arizona Sonora-Desert Museum
  • Mammal Tracks and Sign: A guide to North American Species by Mark Elbroch
  • A Natural History of the Santa Catalina Mountains, Arizona by Richard C Brusca and Wendy Moore

Arizona Museum of Natural History, Dept Ecology and Evolutionary Biology / Tour

Behind the scenes tour of University Arizona's Museum of Natural History.

Arizona Mushroom Growers Research Lab

Discover the mighty mushroom and its impact on health and the environment.
Recommended reading:
  • Magical Mushrooms, Mischievous Molds by George Hudler
  • Conspectus of World Ethnomycology: Fungi in Ceremonies, Crafts, Diets, Medicines, and Myths by Frank Dugan

Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center

Unveil the mysteries of poison and venom with AzPDIC.
Recommended reading:
  • Hog-Eye by Susan Meddaugh
  • Poison: Deadly Deeds, Perilous Professions, and Murderous Medicines by Sarah Albee
  • The Poisoner's Handbook by Deborah Blum

AZ Center for Rural Health

Learn about how to keep yourself safe from COVID-19 and other illnesses.

AZ Project WET

Using systems to connect rainwater, your water use and water conservation.
Recommended reading:
  • Project WET Curriculum and Activity Guide 2.0 by Project WET Foundation
  • Rain water Harvesting for Drylands and Beyonds, Volume 1, 3rd Edition by Brad Lancaster
  • XeriScape: Landscaping for Style in the Arizona Desert by Arizona Department of Water Resources

Code Ninjas Tucson

Code Ninjas: Where kids learn to code while having fun!
Recommended reading:
  • Computational Thinking and Coding for Every Student by Kiki Prottsman

Cooper Center for Environmental Learning

Experience the wonders of our Sonoran Desert through hands-on activities.
Recommended reading:
  • The Earth Speaks by Steve Van Matre

Cooperative Extension/Take Charge America Institute

Talking Money: Family Conversation about Money Improves Financial Wellbeing
Recommended reading:
  • Dollars and Sense by Dan Ariely and Jeff Kreisler

EarthSeed, Incorporated

Discover a sustainable lunar habitat that will pave our way to deep space.
Recommended reading:
  • EarthSeed: Settling Space in This Generation by Donald Jacques
  • The Homestead Project: 12 Steps to a Permanent Lunar Settlement by Donald Jacques
  • Discovering sustainability with the Earth Science Sustainability Laboratory (ESSL). by Donald Jacques

Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory

Fly over the Whipple Observatory in our traveling virtual reality exhibit.
Recommended reading:
  • Astrophysics for People, Snooks, Snorks and Sneeples by J.G. Kemp
  • Astrophysics for Young People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson and Gregory Mone

Human Spatial Cognition Lab

Using VR to understand and further human cognitive intelligence as we age.

Insect Discovery

Most animals are insects! Come meet your tiny neighbors.
Recommended reading:
  • Martina the Beautiful Cockroach by Carmen Agra Deedy
  • 50 Common Insects of the Southwest by Carl Olson
  • The Girl who Drew Butterflies: How Maria Merian's Art Changed Science by Joyce Sidman

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Be the solution: Join the Antidotes in the quest to stop future pandemics!
Recommended reading:
  • The Antidotes: Pollution Solution by Patty Mechael

Kartchner Caverns State Park

Discover the past, present, and future of the Kartchner Caverns.
Recommended reading:
  • Kartchner Caverns: How Two Cavers Discovered and Saved One of the Wonders of the Natural World by Neil Miller
  • The Family Behind Kartchner Caverns: Conservation Through Stewardship by Audra Welker

Kids' Chemical Solutions

Explore elements and molecules around us with Kids' Chemical Solutions!
Recommended reading:
  • The M.C. Detective Agency File 1 The Case of the Deadly Dials by Dr. Colleen Kelley
  • The M.C. Detective Agency File 2 The Case of the Missing [Atomic] Model by Dr. Colleen Kelley
  • The M.C. Detective Agency File 3 The Case of the Pillaging Pirates by Dr. Colleen Kelley

Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research / Open House and Tour

Discover the intriguing world of tree-ring science! Tours and talks on 3/4.

Linguistics Department

Discover how human language works and the field of study behind it.
Recommended reading:
  • Flutes of Fire by Leanne Hinton
  • How to Keep you Language Alive by Leanne Hinton

MMT Observatory

The MMT Observatory: Observing everything, everywhere, all at once.
Recommended reading:
  • Fred Whipple's Empire, The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, 1955-1973 by David H. DeVorkin
  • The Sun Is Kind of a Big Deal by Nick Seluk
  • The Child's Introduction to the Night Sky: The Story of the Stars, Planets, and Constellations -- and How You Can Find Them in the Sky by Michael Driscoll

NSF's NOIRLab / Open House

Discover the NSF’s NOIRLab, world-class telescopes and astronomy tools!

Optics Valley

Explore the science of light with prisms, lenses, mirrors and holograms.
Recommended reading:
  • Discover the Science of Light! Free Optics and Photonics Resources for Parent and Teachers by Various sources including SPIE, Optica, SARSEF, and UA Wyant College of Optical Sciences

Planetary Science Institute

Planetary scientists model the scale of the Solar System and beyond!
Recommended reading:
  • A Traveler's Guide to Mars by William K. Hartmann

Program to Advance Women Scientists (PAWS)

Create homemade lava lamps and explore colorful chemistry.
Recommended reading:
  • Magic Eye: A New Way of Looking at the World by N.E. Thing Enterprises
  • Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World by Rachel Ignotofsky

Ramapo College Investigative Genetic Genealogy Center

Utilizing investigative genetic genealogy to identify human remains.
Recommended reading:
  • The Forever Witness: How DNA and Genealogy Solved a Cold Case Double Murder by Edward Humes
  • Skeleton Crew by Deborah Halber
  • The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy by Blaine T. Bettinger

Raytheon / Demonstration

Come make and launch rockets with Raytheon.

Rincon Research Corporation

Discover how radios really work!
Recommended reading:
  • Basic Radio by ARRL

S.Y.STEM Coalition

Build, create and explore engineering through hands-on experiments
Recommended reading:
  • Amazing Paper Airplanes: The Craft and Science of Flight by Kyong Hwa Lee
  • Forces: Physical Science for Kids by Andi Diehn
  • Awesome Engineering Activities for Kids: 50+ Exciting STEAM Projects to Design and Build (Awesome STEAM Activities for Kids) by Christina Schul

SARSEF: Southern AZ Research, Science, and Engineering Foundation

Engineering safer roadways for all creatures - big or small.
Recommended reading:
  • Crossings by Katy Duffield
  • Boxitects by Kim Smith

Save the Scenic Santa Rita Association

Protect the Santa Rita Mountains' natural environment.

School of Mining and Mineral Resources

The story of Copper: From Blue, to CU, to You.
Recommended reading:
  • The Mineral Maniacs and the Magic Hardhat by Jules Miles
  • Science Comics Rocks and Minerals Geology from Caverns to the Cosmos by Andy Hirsch
  • Skunk and Badger by Amy Timberlake

Science and Technology Institute

STEM across all of Arizona!
Recommended reading:
  • Biotic Communities: Southwestern United States and Northwestern Mexico by D.E. Brown
  • Arizona Soils by D.M. Hendricks

Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center - Community Engagement Core

Household chemicals and you!
Recommended reading:
  • Indigenous Stewards by Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center
  • We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom
  • Silent Spring by Rachel Carson


Touch and interact with the stars inside StellarScape.
Recommended reading:
  • StellarScape: An Immersive, Multimedia Performance Inspired by the Life of a Star by Yuanyuan (Kay) He, Chris Impey, Win Burleson

The Center for Neurosciences Foundation

Explore the brain! What your brain does for you and how to keep it healthy
Recommended reading:
  • Flower Power: Miss Bev's Meditation for Kids by Nadia Fike, MD PhD

The Microbiology Club and The Pre-Veterinary Club

One Health: Farm to Plate
Recommended reading:
  • The Invisible Kingdom by Idan Ben-Barak
  • Microbiology by Dan Green
  • Spillover by David Quammen

Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association

Can anything be seen in the blackness of space? Yes, with infrared eyes.
Recommended reading:
  • Telescopes for Kids - A Junior Scientist's Guide to Stargazing, Constellations, and Discovering Far-Off Galaxies by Vanessa Thomas
  • Turn Left at Orion by Guy Consolmagno and Dan M Davis
  • NASA's E-book about the JWST, https://www.nasa.gov/pdf/715962main_jwst_science_pub-v1-2.pdf by NASA

Tucson Audubon Society

Discover the amazing abilities of birds!
Recommended reading:
  • Vulture Verses: Love Poems for the Unloved by Diane Lang
  • Birds by Carme Lemniscates
  • What It's Like to Be a Bird: From Flying to Nesting, Eating to Singing--What Birds Are Doing, and Why by David Allen Sibley

Tucson Electric Power / Demonstration

Visit with Tucson Electric Power for a special solar demonstration!

Tucson Herpetological Society

Discover the reptiles of the Sonoran Desert!
Recommended reading:
  • A Field Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Sonora, Mexico by James C. Rorabaugh & Julio A. Lemos-Espinal
  • Lizards of the American Southwest by Lawrence L. C. Jones and Robert E. Lovich
  • Introduction to Horned Lizards of North America by Wade C. Sherbrooke

Tucson L5 Space Society

Experience simulations of space-faring civilizations using VR space tours.
Recommended reading:
  • Space 2.0: How Private Spaceflight, a Resurgent NSA and International Partners Are Creating a New Space Age by Rod Pyle
  • Incredible Stories from Space by Nancy Atkinson

Tucson Orienteering Club

Use a detailed campus map to find orienteering controls.
Recommended reading:
  • Be Expert with Map and Compass, The "Orienteering" Handbook by Bjorn Kjellstrom
  • Orienteering: Skills- Techniques- Training by Carol McNeill
  • Discovering Orienteering: Skills, Techniques, and Activities by Charles Ferguson

Tucson Plugs In

Electrify your life sustainably to address our changing climate.
Recommended reading:
  • Electrify: An Optimist's Playbook For A Clean Energy Future by Saul Griffith
  • Short Circuiting Policy: Interest Groups And The Battle Over Clean Energy And Climate Policy In The American States by Leah Cardamore Stokes
  • Denial: A Novel by Jon Raymond

Tucson Symphony Orchestra

From vibrations to music to your ears: the science of sound!
Recommended reading:
  • Sounds All Around: The Science of How Sound Works by Susan Hughes
  • Sounds all Around by Wendy Pfeffer

UArizona College of Veterinary Medicine

Discover new ways to learn and practice veterinary medicine.
Recommended reading:
  • The Veterinary Workbook of Small Animal Clinical Cases (Veterinary Skills Series) by Dr. Ryane Englar

UArizona Department of Mathematics

Pi Day Fun! Explore the Art of Math!
Recommended reading:
  • Sir Cumference by Cindy Neuschwander and Wayne Geehan
  • Why Pi? by Johnny Ball
  • How to Bake Pi by Eugenia Cheng

UArizona Desert Legume Program

Learn about desert legumes and their benefits to the environment.
Recommended reading:
  • Southwest Fruit and Vegetable Gardening - Revised Edition (2022) by Dr. Jacqueline A. Soule
  • Father Kino's Herbs: Growing and Using Them Today by Dr. Jacqueline A. Soule
  • Desert Plants Journal & Aridus Publications by various

UArizona Lunar and Planetary Lab

Learn about OSIRIS-REx, set to returns pieces of asteroid Bennu in Sept 23.
Recommended reading:
  • There's No Place Like Space: All About Our Solar System (Dr. Seuss) by Tish Rabe

UArizona Mt Lemmon SkyCenter

See the sun up close and hang out with NASA JPL Solar System Ambassadors.
Recommended reading:
  • The Forgotten Botanist: Sara Plummer Lemmon's Life of Science and Art by WYNNE BROWN

UArizona RETINA Project

Arizona RETINA project - explore your eyes!
Recommended reading:
  • Champions of Illusion: The Science Behind Mind-Boggling Images and Mystifying Brain Puzzles by Susana Martinez-Conde

UArizona Sky School

Come interact with the UArizona Sky School and see our immersive program.
Recommended reading:
  • The Sky Islands of Southeast Arizona by Mike Link and Kate Crowley

UArizona Veterinary Diagnostic Lab

From aardvark to zebra, we help veterinarians help every animal.
Recommended reading:
  • Veterinary Anatomy Coloring Book 2nd Edition by Baljit Singh

UAZ Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium / Open House

Explore the wonders of science through many exhibits and planetarium shows.

US Metric Association

Discover the modern metric system (SI) and make the transition!
Recommended reading:
  • Beyond Measure: The Hidden History of Measurement from Cubits to Quantum Constants by James Vincent
  • The Measure of All Things: The Seven-Year Odyssey and Hidden Error That Transformed the World by Ken Alder
  • World In the Balance: The Historic Quest for an Absolute System of Measurement by Robert P. Crease

Vatican Observatory

See astronomers model Solar System and beyond.
Recommended reading:
  • Turn Left at Orion by Guy Consolmagno and Dan M. Davis

Women in Mining Arizona

Candy, canyons and geography: Discover Arizona's mineral resources!
Recommended reading:
  • Mineralogy of Arizona, Fourth Edition by Raymond W. Grant (Author), Ron Gibbs (Author), Harvey Jong (Author), Jan Rasmussen (Author), Stanley Keith (Author)
  • This Little Town Where We Mine Copper by Emma Horrocks
  • Arizona: A Geography by Malcolm L. Comeaux

Wyant College of Optical Sciences, Outreach team

See all the wonders of light with Wyant College of Optical Sciences.
Recommended reading:
  • Discovering Light: Fun Experiments with Optics by Maria Viñas-Peña