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2017 Solar Eclipse Teaching Tips

Teach the eclipse with PBS LearningMedia

Introducing the total solar eclipse to your students is a great way to engage them with the science of the Earth-Sun-Moon system.

A folder loaded with resources to help plan instruction and events surrounding the solar eclipse is available on PBS LearningMedia. This folder, created by WGBH Education, contains digital media, ideas for hands-on projects, lesson plans, and many more eclipse teaching ideas and resources from PBS LearningMedia, WGBH, and other content partners. WGBH has also created a Teacher Toolkit with information and resources.

Also on PBS LearningMedia, KET’s weekly current events show for students – News Quiz – has created a short segment to help introduce the eclipse.  News Quiz will have additional coverage of the eclipse when its new season begins on September 7.

What is a solar eclipse?

A solar eclipse is a type of eclipse that occurs when the Moon passes between the Sun and the Earth, and the Moon fully or partially blocks the sun. This will be the first total solar eclipse visible in the continental United States in 38 years. Hopkinsville, Kentucky will be the “point of greatest eclipse.”

What will you be able to see?

That depends on where you are. The path of totality passes through the US. Those not in the path will see varying degrees of a partial eclipse. NASA has created a Kentucky eclipse map that shows the 2017 path.

What if we’re not in the path of totality?

Watch it remotely! There will be many live streams offered—including NASA’s Eclipse Megacast—that will enable you and your students to interactive with the scientists and viewers across the country as they watch and study the eclipse. Learn more.

Then, at 9/8 pm CT on KET, NOVA will broadcast a special episode, “Eclipse Over America,” containing footage shot around the country that day. You and your students will join scientists and citizens alike as they observe the first total solar eclipse to traverse the U.S. mainland in 99 years.

KET’s coverage of the event from Hopkinsville, which lies in the “path of totality,” or area of greatest eclipse, will be featured in the NOVA special and broadcast nationwide. In addition, KET will also provide footage of the eclipse as observed near Louisville’s iconic Churchill Downs.

Remember safety first

Never look directly at the sun without appropriate eyewear. Learn safe viewing practices. 

Downloadable Solar Eclipse 2017 PDF