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Countdown to the Solar Eclipse



Solar Eclipse Educator Resources

The upcoming total solar eclipse in North America, August 21, will provide a perfect, real-world teachable moment. No matter if your students are in elementary, middle school or high school, this rare celestial event is an opportunity for educators in all subjects areas including science, math, history, language arts, art and music to take their students' learning to a whole other level. 

We've provided a list of educator resources below by grade to help make the most of this event in your classroom. Some activities may also work nicely for all developmental and academic stages. Happy lesson planning! 

Eclipse phases in Toledo

Check out the phases of the partial eclipse from Toledo with this time-lapse animation. We may not be in the path of totality, but clearly it will be a spectacular sight. 


Video courtesy of timeanddate.com

Check it out!

Show your students the effects of UV rays and the importance of sunscreen in our latest Imagine It! segment on 13abc! 

Imagine It segment video

Elementary School 

Your students might not even understand what is actually happening in our solar system during a solar eclipse. You may not even understand it fully, and that's okay! Check out our WHAT IS A SOLAR ECLIPSE page to learn more. If you are looking for a simple demonstration to get your students' minds thinking, here are some interesting and valuable links. 

Eye safety

Preparing for the Eclipse: How to safely observe the sun with young children

Eclipses and Eye Safety

General eclipse info

Get Ready for the Great American Eclipse! 

Lesson plans/activities/content

Eclipses Across the Curriculum

Countdown to the Great American Eclipse 

Sun-Earth Day: Celebrate the Connection! 

Size Scales in Astronomy

NASA Eclipse Art Projects and Activities

Inexpensive Eclipse Activities - Adler Planetarium 

"Music of the Spheres" - Exploratorium 

Middle School 

Middle School students are savvy enough to have a grasp of the mechanics of what is happening during a solar eclipse, and three-dimensional science learning is the perfect tool for bringing the eclipse to life in the classroom. You will also find other valuable links for the classroom. 

Lesson plans/activities/content

The Solar Eclipse 2017: The Perfect Opportunity to Highlight 3-Dimensional Science Learning

Science teachers as community eclipse outreach agents

Exploring Lunar and Solar Eclipses Via a 3-D Modeling Design Task 

2-D/3-D Printable Pinhole Projectors - NASA

NASA Eclipse Art Projects 

"Music of the Spheres" - Exploratorium 

High School

For those of you teaching high school level math and science, NASA has released some math challenges that let students explore, latitude and longitude, quadratic formulas, rotation speeds, and tons more. It is really a great resource if you want to bring some relevant science pop culture to your classroom.

Lesson plans/activities/content

NASA Eclipse Math Challenges 

Total Eclipse Three-Dimensional Science Learning 

Become a Solar Eclipse Outreach Agent 

Modeling the Eclipse

"Music of the Spheres" - Exploratorium 

warning icon

As crazy-cool as it might seem to sit and stare at the sun with your bare eyeballs, it’s mostly crazy. Never directly view the sun through anything but a certified solar viewer or solar telescope.

Viewing the sun through binoculars, normal telescopes or bare eyes can lead to significant or permanent damage to your eyes.

For more information on how and why to protect your eyes during a solar eclipse, check out our safety tips.