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2017 Solar Eclipse Workshop

Here comes the sun--but wait, where did it go? On August 21, 2017, an apparition in the daytime sky will likely be, without hyperbole, the most observed celestial phenomenon in US history. We invite educators to register for Here Comes the Sun--2017 Solar Eclipse Workshop so you can help your community to observe it safely.

On that Monday, the moon will pass in front of much of the sun--a partial solar eclipse seen across all of North America. Meanwhile, observers who travel to a narrow swath that bisects the United States from Oregon to South Carolina will be able to witness the spectacle of a lifetime--a total solar eclipse! Whether you stay home or travel to the eclipse centerline, you must prepare in advance to view the sun safely.

Map courtesy of Michael Zeiler,

Map courtesy of Michael Zeiler,

Chuck Bueter, Mindy O'Malley, and Dr. Micha Kilburn invite Michiana educators to Here Comes the Sun--2017 Solar Eclipse Workshop on Tuesday, November 15, 2016, at 6:00 PM EST in the Penn-Harris-Madison Digital Video Theater (DVT). The free workshop will support educators in engaging students and the public alike during the marquee event of 2017. Register for the free workshop at Here Comes the Sun--2017 Solar Eclipse Workshop.

Here Comes the Sun--2017 Solar Eclipse Workshop will:

  • simulate the 2017 solar eclipse with DVT imagery

  • distinguish between viewing the partial and the total eclipse

  • assert the need for requisite eye safety and describe safe-viewing techniques

  • provide education resources and relevant links

  • advocate for solar awareness, with participants each making an Anniversary Solargraph

  • propose a bulk order of solar shades to reduce costs

  • call for all people in the community to have access to observing the sun safely

  • encourage leaders to embrace the eclipse as a unique education opportunity and life experience.

While the preference is for everyone to travel to the eclipse centerline to witness totality, in reality most people will observe a partial solar eclipse closer to home. From Michiana, about 85% of the sun will be obscured by the moon, which is still too bright to look at without proper eye protection.

Be forewarned that many of the local parties who do astronomy outreach will not be in Michiana on August 21 to assist you during your eclipse event. If you have a role in education, please consider how you will help people experience the 2017 solar eclipse here. Communities and schools must prepare on their own to guide people in looking at the sun safely, and this workshop will provide the foundation for an informative, inspirational, and safe outcome.

We encourage all regional school districts to send at least one representative to Here Comes the Sun--2017 Solar Eclipse Workshop. Leaders, potential sponsors, and persons interested in supporting the community's eclipse experience are equally welcome. Don't get caught off guard in mid-2017 when millions of other people are preparing for the eclipse and, say, supplies of solar shades are limited. Social media will certainly push the solar spectacle into overdrive.

For the workshop, anticipate about two hours, though the agenda is in flux. If you'd like to provide content for Here Comes the Sun--2017 Solar Eclipse Workshop, please contact Chuck. Space in the DVT (the seating kind of space) is limited.

Chuck Bueter is the creator of, including the Eclipse 2017 page. His experience in guiding group viewing of the sun includes his lead role in the 2004 and 2012 transits of Venus and his development of the Sun Funnel for observing the sun with a telescope.

Mindy O'Malley is Director of the PHM Digital Video Theater. Currently teaching high school astronomy at the DVT, she has taught science in the PHM School Corporation since 1990, most recently at Discovery Middle School.

Dr. Micha Kilburn is an Assistant Professional Assistant at University of Notre Dame Dept. of Physics. She is the Director of Outreach and Education at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics (JINA). As Executive Director of the Northern Indiana Regional Science and Engineering Fair (NIRSEF), she is well informed about integrating science investigations into the classroom.

The Penn-Harris-Madison DVT is located in Bittersweet Elementary School (see map).

Ecllipse predictions for South Bend are courtesy of Xavier Jubier's Interactive Google Map.

Ecllipse predictions for South Bend, IN, courtesy of Xavier Jubier's Interactive Google Map

Note: Prior to Here Comes the Sun--2017 Solar Eclipse Workshop, the National Science Teachers Association will host a virtual conference on Saturday, October 15, 2016, entitled Getting Ready for the Sky Event of the Decade:The 2017 All-American Eclipse of the Sun (A Guide for How to Help Your Students and Community Understand and View it Safely). Details, costs, and registration are at

ADDED October 17, 2016:

Are You Ready for the Outreach Challenge of the “All-American” Total Eclipse of 2017? As many of you know, on August 21, 2017, we will be treated to the first total eclipse of the Sun visible in the continental U.S. in almost 40 years. The total eclipse will be visible in a narrow band about 60 miles across, stretching diagonally across the country from a beach in Oregon to a beach in South Carolina. But everyone in North America (an estimated 500 million people) will see a partial solar eclipse -- presenting one of the greatest astronomy outreach challenges – and opportunities – in history. Join Andrew Fraknoi and Dennis Schatz (who helped create both the AAS Ambassadors and the Astronomy from the Ground Up programs) for a one-hour webinar on ways to do effective education and outreach around the eclipse, including (briefly):

  • Hands-on activities for classrooms, informal education settings, and community meetings (where to find a whole slew of them

  • Safe viewing techniques for partial eclipses

  • Plans to use public libraries as community centers for eclipse preparation and viewing

  • Other ideas for when, where, and how to do eclipse outreach for maximum effect

  • A potential program to make kits of eclipse glasses available at low or no cost

  • Resources that will bring you up to speed on eclipse education, science, and outreach

  • The mini-grant program from the American Astronomical Society for eclipse education and outreach to under-served groups and the ASP meeting that will address this issue in December

  • Time to share your ideas and plans.

Dennis Schatz and Andrew Fraknoi have written the book Solar Science: Exploring Sunspots, Seasons, Eclipses, and More for the non-profit NSTA Press, to help prepare educators for explaining the eclipse (and other sky phenomena). A free 8-page guide to Eclipse 2017 (from this book) is available at: Date: Wednesday, October 19, 2016 Time: 4pm Eastern / 3pm Central / 2pm Mountain / 1 pm Pacific

Please click the link below to join the webinar: Or iPhone one-tap (US Toll): +14086380968,901249448# or +16465588656,901249448# Or Telephone: Dial: +1 408 638 0968 (US Toll) or +1 646 558 8656 (US Toll) Webinar ID: 901 249 448 International numbers available:

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