Jul 31

Teaching resources for the eclipse

Total solar eclipses aren’t too rare, in principle. As Vox notes in this video , they happen around once every 18 months. But they don’t land in the U.S. very often. The last time you could see one in the continental states was 1979!

This year, you can be anywhere in the continental U.S. and see at least 60% of the eclipse.

Early this month, the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network shared a full packet of materials about the eclipse, and it’s too good not to pass along. TSIN is helping schools as well. They’ve already given out 5,000 pairs of solar eclipse glasses and received requests from more than 30,000.

Take a look at the materials below. In the comments, we’d love to hear about what your network or school will do to take advantage of this awesome stellar opportunity.

One cool example: South Carolina’s Coalition for Mathematics & Science will pause their STEM Festival for an event they’re calling “ Total Eclipse of the Park .”

Project-Based Learning Unit

Download this  Eclipse PBL Unit  for grades 6-12 that has student teams create and present their total solar eclipse findings.

Elementary Resources:

Celebrate the Great American Eclipse with Prescott South Elementary School teachers!  PSES teacher teams have developed lesson plans, compiled videos, free downloads, and online activities that they want to share with K-4 teachers that are looking for resources.  Share this valuable  resources page  with others!

The NSTA Press offers an excerpt from  When the Sun Goes Dark , by Andrew Fraknoi and Dennis Schatz, that provides a thought-provoking story between family members that gives a detailed explanation into how eclipses have a cyclic nature and why new eclipses are always on a different part of the Earth when they happen.

Middle and High School Resources:

The Lunar and Planetary Institute offers an in-depth teacher’s  guide  to solar eclipses that includes:

The Sun, the Moon, and Us –in this hour-long  video lecture , Scott McIntosh, director of the National Center for Atmospheric Research’s High-Altitude Observatory, shares his expertise and excitement about the Great American Solar Eclipse.  He discusses the Sun and its layers, why we study the Sun, and what we can learn from it—as well as how a total solar eclipse occurs and how viewers can participate in the  Eclipse Megamovie 2017 .  While the lecture was recorded for an adult audience, the content is suitable for students ages 12 and up and for astronomy fans of all ages.