When the Sun Goes Dark

National Science Teachers Association

by Andrew Fraknoi and Dennis Schatz

illustrated by Eric Freeberg

Sites with information about the 2017 Solar Eclipse: NASANASA warning about Solar Eclipse Glasses Celestron

LiveScience step by step instructions on making a Solar Eclipse Box Viewer

 

If you are lucky enough to be in the path of totality on August 21st than this is the book your going to want to read to you kids or students. It is published by the National Science Teachers Association and full of information as well as easy to do experiments. In this book the grandparents have just gotten back from a trip to a little island in the Pacific Ocean to see the total eclipse. Their grand kids have a lot of questions about what is an eclipse and what do you see. In order to best explain it the grandparents do some fun experiments that involve things from around the house. All you really need to recreate these from the book are some balls, a lamp, hula hoops, a box – scissors – and tin foil, an umbrella and more. Many places in the path have glasses to buy at your local stores, even Lowes is carrying them. I can’t wait to see this amazing event and this book is a must read for all who have kids or work with kids that are in the line and 70 mile wide path of the Solar Eclipse. This is a chance in a lifetime for some since who knows when it will happen again for my town. Yes, it’s going to be sheer chaos that weekend before and that day is going to be insanely crowded and wild but I hope this is something my girls will always remember. Our schools are not closing so I won’t be able to experience it with them but they have a lot of activities planned so they will be learning and do so much that day it will be memorable I’m sure. This book can be read alone for any established reader and there is a glossary in the back to explain words the reader might not have read before. This would be a great addition to a 4-6 grade science classroom. I really think you could do this with the younger kids as well. Maybe read half one day and half the next and do some of the activities in small groups ending with each student making their own pinhole viewer. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is wanting an easy way to explain and learn more about 2017’s Total Solar Eclipse. Even if you are not in the path and can’t make the drive to one of the place in the line if you are close enough you will get a partial eclipse which is neat, just remember you can only take those glasses off or stop using the pinhole viewer during the very short time frame of totality. Go onto NASA to find out the exact time that this happens so you don’t harm your eyes. Also make sure if you do buy glasses that they are NASA approved and have the rating: ISO 12312-2. I included a link to the warning for you to read.