Unless you’ve been living on the moon, you’ve probably heard or read about the total solar eclipse of the sun by the moon on Monday, August 21st here in the United States. This planetary phenomenon has not been experienced here since 1979. These few minutes, where the moon perfectly aligns with the sun and blocks out light in the middle of the day, are a big deal for science. And science is a big deal for us here at Measured Progress.
In this post, we’ve curated information and resources teachers can use with students to help deepen their learning and collect evidence of their understanding.
- Here’s a quick, one-minute video from NASA Goddard about the eclipse as a primer.
- Do you have all your viewing equipment? The American Astronomical Society recommends using products that follow international safety standards. Public libraries around the country have been handing out free glasses. If your library is all out by now, you can make your own eclipse viewer, following the instruction courtesy of NPR’s SkunkBear.
- Here’s an eclipse day checklist and loads of resources, courtesy of STAR_Net, a collaboration of scientists and librarians.
- This is a visual model of the science behind the eclipse, from STAR_Net:
- As you would expect, NASA has a sizable portion of its site dedicated to the ecplise, with plenty of formal K–12 education resources broken out by grade level (elementary, middle and high school).
- Earlier this week, EdWeek blogger Stephen Sawchuk wrote 4 Tips for Awesome Eclipse Teaching, which included resources from PBS LearningMedia, NASA, and the American Astronomical Society. We especially liked his suggestion to use the eclipse as an anchoring phenomenon, with sample questions to engage with students.
- The New York Times Learning Channel has a teaching activity you can use. They also have “An eclipse chaser’s guide to your first eclipse.”
- Our partners at Activate Learning have a Claim-Evidence-Reasoning poster that can help students create their own scientific explanation for the eclipse.
- We have some formative tools in our STEM Gauge™ Teacher’s Guides that teachers can use to engage students with this phenomenon and provide evidence of their understanding. The Frayer model and Three-fact fold chart tools are particularly useful for these purposes.
Even if you’re not in the path of totality and don’t have plans to go outside, NASA will live-stream the eclipse so you won’t have to miss it. After all, there won’t be another one viewable in North America until 2024!
[Note: Top image courtesy of NASA. Download your own here.]