Total Solar Eclipse 2024 Community of Practice

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  • 1.  Programs/activities resource list

    Posted 01-31-2024 18:15

    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!

    Claire Dorsett
    Director of STEM Programming @ The Fab Foundation
    Consultant @ ASTC

  • 2.  RE: Programs/activities resource list

    Posted 02-01-2024 03:25

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

    Sydney Smith
    Director of Operations
    Adventure Science Center
    Nashville TN

  • 3.  RE: Programs/activities resource list

    Posted 02-02-2024 09:23

    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. 

    Daniel Schneiderman
    Eclipse Partnerships Coordinator
    Rochester Museum & Science Center
    Rochester NY

  • 4.  RE: Programs/activities resource list

    Posted 02-01-2024 08:37

    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. 

    Stephanie Calondis Geiger
    Executive Director
    SPI: Where Science and Play Intersect
    Mount Vernon OH

  • 5.  RE: Programs/activities resource list

    Posted 02-09-2024 12:39

    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). 

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

  • 6.  RE: Programs/activities resource list

    Posted 03-13-2024 09:55

    When we do large scale demos for young audiences we find that a rocket launch using alka-seltzer, water, and film canisters is a great way to segue into many topics about the moon and also the explosive fun really grabs the full audience attention. 

    Kelsey Tarase
    Director of Education
    The Children's Museum of Cleveland
    Cleveland OH

  • 7.  RE: Programs/activities resource list

    Posted 05-14-2024 05:30
    Edited by Archi Home 05-14-2024 05:34

    "Thank you for compiling this fantastic list of ideas and takeaways from the webinar, Claire! It's inspiring to see such creative approaches to engaging communities around the 2024 eclipse. Looking forward to contributing more ideas to the list!

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