Total Solar Eclipse 2024 Community of Practice

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  • 1.  Programs/activities resource list

    Posted 22 days ago

    Hi everyone,

    We had a great webinar on the 19th to kick off work around the 2024 eclipse. Thank you to those who attended! 

    Here's a roundup of some ideas and takeaways shared in the programs/activities breakout room:

    • Strategically schedule key speakers and events for after peak totality to encourage guests to stick around. (This can help reduce traffic jams and congestion!)
    • Consider hosting pre-eclipse activities on April 7th (brandable as SUN-day fun!).
    • Get creative with local partnerships! One museum is collaborating with their local community theater on a science/fiction combo around "Little Shop of Horrors." (Did you know that the strange events in the play are triggered by a solar eclipse?).
    • CollaboratePost with amateur radio groups for local live broadcasting coverage.
    • Consider snack time tie-ins: dip Nilla wafers in chocolate to simulate different phases of the eclipse.
    • Host an adults-only event!
      • Museum of Discovery is throwing an adult evening around "Total Eclipse of the Senses," featuring miracle berries that cause sour foods to taste sweet!
      • Wonderlab is hosting an eclipse-themed night featuring special speakers, desserts, and wine pairings.
    • Perot Museum of Nature and Science created a fantastic activities kit for grades K-5:
    • Baylor shared a terrific teacher training video, available here using code fKixn1k*  (with slides here).
    • Activate your makerspace (or set one up outside!):
      • With cyanotype paper, guests can harness the power of the sun to illustrate the story of their eclipse experience and take home a memory. (This also works inside with UV flashlights for those wanting to avoid the wind! Use a vinyl cutter to prepare interesting shapes.)
      • Craft origami replicas of the James Webb Space Telescope mirror.
      • Invite visitors to document the phases of the eclipse using sidewalk chalk (make sure they add timestamps and sign their creations!).  
      • Use UV reactive beads to make mobiles or bracelets.
      • Create pocket solar systems.
    • Don't forget your youngest visitors!
      • Invite little learners to make astronaut suits for teddy bears or their favorite stuffed animal.
      • Consider special storytime read-alouds:
        • Total Solar Eclipse: A Stellar Friendship Story by Jayme Sandberg
        • When the Sun Goes Dark by Andrew Fraknoi & Dennis Schatz
        • Bear Shadow by Frank Acsh
        • A Few Beautiful Minutes by Kate Allen Fox & Khoa Le
        • The Day the Sun Disappeared by John Hamberger

     Please add your ideas to the list!



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    Claire Dorsett
    Director of STEM Programming @ The Fab Foundation
    Consultant @ ASTC
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  • 2.  RE: Programs/activities resource list

    Posted 22 days ago

    Does anyone have unique related merchandise that they're incorporating in their retail spaces for the eclipse?



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    Sydney Smith
    Director of Operations
    Adventure Science Center
    Nashville TN
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  • 3.  RE: Programs/activities resource list

    Posted 21 days ago

    Merch-wise, we have Moon stress balls, eclipse-themed coffee, and have partnered with a chocolatier to make a chocolate version of our poster. We additionally have hoodies, beanies, patches, shirts, mugs, water bottles, sweatpants, and tote bags. 



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    Daniel Schneiderman
    Eclipse Partnerships Coordinator
    Rochester Museum & Science Center
    Rochester NY
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  • 4.  RE: Programs/activities resource list

    Posted 22 days ago

    Wonderful! I didn't know about little shop of horrors and will look more into that because we partner regularly with a theater org up the street. Thanks for that idea. 

    Along the lines of memories from the day, I am thinking about the possibility too of some kind of time capsule project that is preserved until the NEXT eclipse over our area.  Anyone who has experience/resources with that, please do share. 



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    Stephanie Calondis Geiger
    Executive Director
    SPI: Where Science and Play Intersect
    Mount Vernon OH
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  • 5.  RE: Programs/activities resource list

    Posted 14 days ago

    We have been invited to local school to do a presentation about the solar eclipse the week before the eclipse. We have been brainstorming ideas for the show but I was wondering if anyone else has done a large format show about the eclipse or had any ideas to make our information more engaging. It will be for over hundred students, 6 showings, for about 20-30 minutes per show. We plan to use clips from our eclipse dome show we created for our planetarium & have 2 educators (presenters). 



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    Kayla Ingle
    Education Director
    Mid-America Science Museum
    Hot Springs AR
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