Southeast Missouri State University’s Office of Continuing Education is hosting viewing groups for NASA Education’s virtual educator professional development three-part webinar series focused on the upcoming Aug. 21 total solar eclipse.
The free viewing groups are an opportunity for community educators and eclipse enthusiasts to generate and share activity ideas for their classrooms, said Christy Mershon, director of Southeast’s Continuing Education.
“This is an amazing opportunity for teachers from our local community to interact with educators from across the country to prepare their classrooms and students for this historical celestial event,” Mershon said.
The webinars are presented by Southern Illinois University – Carbondale and NASA Education. Dr. Peggy Hill, Southeast professor of physics, will be moderating the viewing groups at Southeast.
The series will kick off Wednesday, April 19, from 4-5 p.m. with a live interactive program. NASA scientists and specialists from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center will share information about the Aug. 21 total solar eclipse. In addition, participants will receive a preview of the educational activities that will be shared during the grade level programs occurring the following week. It is not required to attend this first viewing group in order to attend the following webinars.
The second viewing group is scheduled for Tuesday, April 25, from 4-5 p.m. and is geared for educators for grades K-6. Participants will join colleagues for an education demonstration event on eclipse-related topics and hands-on activities with NASA education specialists from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.
Activities will include “The Eclipse Cereal Box Viewer” which is designed to use a KWL worksheet as a guided student activity to develop interest, curiosity, questions and knowledge about a solar eclipse. Participants will then create their own indirect eclipse viewer for safe viewing use during the partial phases of a solar eclipse. An additional activity will demonstrate the use of solar viewing glasses.
The final viewing group is scheduled for Thursday, April 27, from 4-5 p.m. and is geared for educators for grades 7-12. Participants will join colleagues for an education demonstration event on eclipse-related topics and hands-on activities with NASA education specialists from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.
Activities will include “Modeling Meaningful Eclipses” which is designed to use simple materials to create 3D models of the earth, moon and sun to demonstrate a solar eclipse. An additional activity will demonstrate the use of solar viewing glasses.
To register for a viewing group, call the Office of Continuing Education at (573) 986-6879. Participants will receive location information for each webinar when they register.
For more information about events occurring Aug. 21 at Southeast, visit eclipse.semo.edu.