Southeast Physics Professor, Student Helps Local Scouts Prepare for Total Solar Eclipse

Dr. Peggy Hill, professor of physics, and Taylor Shivelbine, senior physics education major at Southeast Missouri State University, today visited with local Cape Girardeau and Jackson Cub Scouts to help them prepare for the total solar eclipse occurring on Aug. 21

Hill and Shivelbine taught the Scouts the science of the upcoming solar eclipse during a presentation at Cape Girardeau County Park-North.

“Only during this amazing moment during the total solar eclipse can we see the sun’s atmosphere,” Hill told the Scouts.

The Cub Scouts were also provided with eclipse safety glasses, while Hill and Shivelbine demonstrated when and how to wear them during the total eclipse.

“Your eyes are the most important thing,” Hill said. “Scouts are very good about getting the word out and a lot of people don’t know what to do. If you have more than one pair of glasses, you can share with your friends and teach them the safety tips too.”

One of the highlights of the day was the opportunity for the Cub Scouts to observe the sun safely through a solar viewing funnel projector fitted on a telescope.

Hill and Shivelbine helped the Cub Scouts locate sun spots.

Hill encouraged the Scouts to use their senses during totality.

“I want you to look around you. It’s going to get dark and you may see stars and planets,” Hill said. “I want you to listen and notice what happens to the animals. And I want you to feel. Do you get colder when the sun is blocked?”

Hill and Shivelbine also hosted special solar activities, including creating solar art, building pinhole viewers and making UV bead bracelets.

Having Hill participate in today’s camp was a fantastic opportunity for the Cub Scouts, said Neal McGuire, camp director.

“I am thrilled we have these resources available and to have someone of this caliber to visit with our Scouts,” he said. “The kids loved it. You can see it in their smiles.”

For more information on eclipse-related events planned at Southeast Missouri State University, visit eclipse.semo.edu.

For more information about the Scouts, call (573) 335-3346.