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Get the buzz on insects at this new Tucson exhibit
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Get the buzz on insects at this new Tucson exhibit

A family watches Flandrau Science Center’s new IMAX-formatted show, “Bugs! A Rainforest Adventure,” in Flandrau’s planetarium.

If there is anything we’ve learned from the army of flies and mosquitoes that have kept us company this monsoon, it’s that insects are all around us.

While we spend our days swatting bugs away from our faces and itching the tiny welts on our legs from standing five minutes outside, we might also consider turning this undeniable fact into a learning experience for the kids.

Enter the Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium and its brand new, family friendly, permanent exhibit, “Wild World of Bugs.”

The University of Arizona on-campus educational center has dedicated 1,000 square feet of its facility to an interactive look at the role insects play in the world.

Some of the features include:

Build-a-bug stations, a wind-tunnel for bug test-flights, and a challenge section testing visitors’ reaction times compared to flies and other insects.

Displays that showcase the social systems of wasps and other members of the bug world.

A Bug Bistro made to look like a restaurant, to convey their diets and eating habits.

A live insect habitat that will feature, among other insects, Madagascar hissing cockroaches and blue death-feigning beetles.

Capitalizing off of its planetarium theater, used primarily for space-themed programming, Flandrau is adding a new IMAX-formatted show to its rotation: “Bugs! A Rainforest Adventure,” which looks at the lives of the praying mantis and butterflies in Borneo.

Flandrau recently expanded its hours. It is now open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays-Sundays. Admission is $9 for adults, $7 for children ages 4-17 and free for children 3 and younger. Planetarium show tickets are sold separately at those same prices, according to press materials. Visit for more information.

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