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Activities for a Solar Eclipse

Here are some activities for the 2024 solar eclipse with interim notes.  As the list grows, newer items are added to the bottom.  Feel free to send links of your favorite public outreach activities.  And many thanks to creators of educational content. 

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Simulate Bizarre Shadows & Lighting

Model shows why shadows transition from fuzzy to sharp during eclipse.


Use the hook of sungazing to update Hoosiers on solar energy opportunities and convey how the sun is integral to Earth’s well-being.

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Foam ball on stick for moon phases demo.

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Explore the enigmatic shadow bands.

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In using models, first get kids to reveal misconceptions.  Listen.  Use positive reinforcement; ask Qs of their model.

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Decorate white solar shades.  Personalize.

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Simulate eclipse shadow with ball casting shadow onto inflatable globe.  (Not to scale.)

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Solar math bonanza!  Extensive practical examples from NASA.


Make a Solargraph.

Image the sun with a 16-ounce can, duct tape, and B&W photo paper.  Or try a solar eclipse version of a solargraph using SunPrint paper.

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Eclipse Activities and Links from 2017 (PDF).


Original 2017 webpage has some dated but useful content and links.


Simulate eclipse for your site.  See a video simulation of the shadow approaching your site and the concurrent aspect of the sun.


Free 2024 Eclipse Curriculum for Indiana

Variations: Look at shadows of tree leaves, or punch holes in paper to spell your name in crescent suns, or use colander instead of pegboard.

Dark Clouds

Activity if it's cloudy during totality: Watch shadow race over cloudtops.


Eye Safety


How to view the eclipse safely; from American Astronomical Society.


NASA Space Place-Sun


NASA simplifies the eclipse in graphics, text, videos, and more.

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Videos: Confidence & Curiosity: Girls at the Telescope

This 3-part workshop is  designed for Girl Scout adult volunteers and supporters who are interested in doing astronomy outreach with younger girls and the public.

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Eclipse Stories From Around the World

Share historical and multicultural interpretations of solar eclipses.   From The Exploratorium.

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my NASA data

NASA HEAT delivers excellent education resources in the context of solar eclipses, with mini-lessons, interactives, and lesson plans.  

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Predict the Corona

Four intermediate to advanced activities from NASA that conclude with cake.  Yum.

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Six hands-on activities from Exploratorium. 

See more eclipse content at


Solar activities for educators, from Stanford Solar Center.

Site includes images of the sun today in multiple wavelengths.


Your Great Idea Here!

Your link...

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Best Projection Methods

Project an image of the sun for a group to observe safely.

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Sun-Earth scale model printout;  65-foot string for AU.

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Indigenous Eclipse  Teachings, including Dine’ (Navajo) sun is dying; stay indoors; don’t eat; sing. Reverence for the sun’s time.  Quality of air has changed, affects body.

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Craft a sun-like image from food coloring and shaving cream.  Simple fun.


Frog Swallows the Sun.

Traditional Cherokee story of the eclipse, told by Roy Boney, in both Cherokee and English Languages.


Make a Spot Mirror Projection

Forget projection into a box.  This is much better and bigger image.

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Yardstick Earth-Moon model, including links to purchasable kits. 

Also see my method for mounting the stick on telescope for better control.

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Extend coverage area of solar shades with paper plate mask.


Jay Ryan's illustrations alone are reason to follow his site, but his argument for viewing from Cleveland is reason to visit his city April 8.

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Chuck's blog posts tagged "solar eclipse."

Find storylines that accompany activities from 2017 and 2023 solar eclipses.

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Solar Eclipse Timer.

Be laser-focused on Eclipse Day through book, app, and videos.  E.g.: Have all in your group wear alternating red and green to amplify the Purkinje Effect.  Wonky but brilliant!


See current sun activity and forecasts, including sunspots, flares, CMEs, aurorae, and more.  Eleven-year solar cycle is high when 2024 eclipse occurs.


Video: Eclipse Blitz

Rapid overview of outreach activities and bizarre solar eclipse highlights to anticipate on Eclipse Day.

(Turn on closed captions, or CC on YouTube.)

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Citizen Science for Eclipses

Join NASA-funded projects in collaboration with scientists and volunteers (like you!). 

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Short videos from NASA HEAT speed through the study of eclipses by ancient cultures through modern discoveries.  Fast but informative.


Paper Plate Activities

Engage your solar eclipse audience with paper plate activities that are related to the sun.


Activities list from Andrew Fraknoi.

Eclipses, viewing them safely, and getting to know the moon and the sun.

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Eclipses from Around the World

There's more than one way to understand the universe.  From Astronomical Society of the Pacific. 

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Lesson plan introduces how celestial bodies align for solar and lunar eclipses. 

From Stileapp.

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