August 21, 2017, is likely to be the most watched solar eclipse of human history. This total solar eclipse will be carving out a path from Washington clear through South Carolina. Most citizens of the United States will be less than a 4-hour drive from witnessing the event. On August 22, 2016 hotels all along the path of totality, sold out in hours. In a few months, teachers will be expected to understand and teach the concept of eclipses to their students. This workshop is primarily an effort to arm teachers with the causes of the phenomena as well as information regarding how to safely view an eclipse. Here in Michigan, we will observe roughly 85% totality and so it will never be safe to observe with the naked eye. Each teacher will receive 25 eclipse glasses as part of the workshop and 3 SCECHs!
This workshop is a one night, three-hour workshop offered on two separate evenings. The first hour will be a presentation inside Longway Planetarium on our state-ofthe- art Digistar 6, 4k system. We will look at the concept of eclipse seasons. Solar eclipses tend to be separated by about six months and are
either preceded or followed by a lunar eclipse two weeks before or after the solar eclipse. We will also look at other concepts involved, for example why doesn’t a solar eclipse occur with every new moon? What parts of the sun will be visible during the solar eclipse? Why does the moon turn red during a lunar eclipse?
During the second hour, teachers will become involved in the workshop with displays showcasing activities that can be done in their classroom. These include a modified moon on a stick activity and an activity to build a solar eclipse viewer that will function for an entire classroom rather than an individual.
Finally, in the third hour, there will be a lecture focused on actual solar eclipse observation. Each teacher will receive 25 eclipse glasses as part of the workshop for use in their classroom. We will discuss what methods are available to safely observe a solar eclipse through a telescope. What methods are available to observe without a telescope? What are the principles going on using pinhole methods? What are principles involved with projection methods?