Solar eclipse getting educators excited - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Solar eclipse getting educators excited

Kathleen Buck demonstrates a proper eclipse viewing helmet created just for the center's viewing party. (Photo source: WLOX) Kathleen Buck demonstrates a proper eclipse viewing helmet created just for the center's viewing party. (Photo source: WLOX)
SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) -

There's a fever that’s building, but this one is being welcomed by educators. The fever is all about the solar eclipse coming Aug. 21.

Coast educators are getting geared up to make it a major teaching moment. It’s making Kathleen Buck giddy.

“It is enormous for everybody in America, because this type of event, none of us who are alive today have ever seen it before,” Buck said. “Eclipses only happen in the same place about once every 300 to 400 years.”

Buck is the museum and education manager at the Lynn Meadows Discovery Center. She’s loaded up with educational equipment for a preparation workshop Aug. 19.

Then, there’s the big solar eclipse watch party Aug. 21.

“I want them to walk away knowing that our world lives bigger than the classroom. That they can do or be anything. That this is a significant event that you can participate in,” Buck said. “Not just because Lynn Meadows is having it. Because nature is having it, and we're just showing them a little piece of that so they can appreciate it.”

Over at Infinity Science Center, NASA educators are planning a big event Aug. 21. And just like everyone else, they’re excited.

Even though Mississippi won’t get to see a total eclipse (it will be 75 to 80 percent coverage), there are still learning opportunities.

“I want kids to understand that this is an exciting time, but it’s not just about the eclipse,” said Sabrina Edmondson, the eclipse lead for the NASA education department at Stennis Space Center. “You can take this into all different branches When you're talking about the eclipse with kids, it’s important to be as excited as you can be and to get them to understand that this doesn’t happen. This never happens. Well, it doesn’t happen very often.”

In South Mississippi, the two-hour solar eclipse will be at its apex at 1:31 p.m.

For safe viewing information, go to www.eclipse2017.nasa.gov.

Here are some events scheduled:

Aug. 19: Lynn Meadows Eclipse Preparation Workshop noon-2 p.m.
Aug. 21: Lynn Meadows Watch Party, 12:30-2:30 p.m.
Aug. 21: Infinity Science Center eclipse activities, 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Aug. 21: Watch Party-Poolside at Margaritaville, noon-4 p.m. hosted by BHS Class of '81
Aug. 21 Branch libraries of the Jackson-George Regional Library System will host several events from Aug. 18-21.

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