On August 21, 2017, millions of people across North America came together to witness one of the most awe-inspiring sights known to mankind: a total solar eclipse. The solar eclipse marked a historic moment unseen for almost 40 years being that the last solar eclipse to cross the continental United States occurred in 1979. Although the state of Texas was not in the path of totality, countless of individuals enthusiastically utilized eclipse glasses or built their own viewing devices to witness a partial solar eclipse.
At Texas State University, dozens of families, pre-service teachers, students, and faculty participated in an eclipse viewing event hosted by the NASA EPDC and the LBJ Institute for STEM Education and Research. NASA EPDC treated participants to a presentation that detailed the science of eclipses, provided resources such as glasses to safely observe the eclipse, and streamed the live NASA coverage of the total solar eclipse.
Since early this Spring, EPDC specialists provided eclipse related educational events for STEM educators through various formats such as webinars, off-site ½ day workshops, and on-center multi-day intensive learning experiences. By the end of Eclipse day, it is estimated that over 24,000 educators, youth, and community members participated a culturally relevant educational learning experience regarding content standards in earth and space science – featuring the phenomenon of the Solar Eclipse. NASA EPDC continues to lead the way in providing high-quality, innovative, and transformative professional development resources and learning experiences for STEM educators from around the country.
Dr. Samuel García Jr.
Educator Professional Development Specialist, NASA STEM EPDC
Texas State University