One of the many projects I have been working on this spring has been some lessons how plants and animals react to the sun, especially with regards to a total solar eclipse. You may or may not be aware, but over 200 Nebraska communities fall within path of totality, or the path of the shadow where observers will see the moon completely over the sun for roughly two and a half minutes. During the total solar eclipse, the moon’s umbral shadow will fly across the United States from Oregon to South Carolina, in a little over 90 minutes. This is the first eclipse through the contiguous United States since 1979, according to NASA records.
In response to this rare and unique opportunity, Nebraska Extension and Raising Nebraska are partnering with the Hastings Museum to offer solar eclipse training for teachers and youth professionals in advance of the total solar eclipse on Aug. 21. The training will provide participants with eclipse resources and lesson plans they can use in their classroom, after-school setting or organization.
The total solar eclipse is a remarkable phenomenon that not many have the opportunity to witness. Nebraska’s wide open spaces will be one of the best places to view the eclipse so we want to help youth professionals capitalize on this exciting teaching opportunity. The training will educate participants on exactly what the eclipse is and how they can take lessons from concept to application. The curriculum will also be applicable beyond the Aug. 21 event, covering topics such as nocturnal animals, how sundials work and why sunlight is critical for plants.
All trainings are free to attend and will be held from 2 – 4 p.m. Training dates and locations are:
- June 1: Raising Nebraska, Nebraska State Fairgrounds, 501 E. Fonner Park Rd., Grand Island
- June 15: Hastings Museum, 1330 N. Burlington Ave., Hastings
- June 18: Raising Nebraska
- July 27: Training via Zoom video conference
To register for the June 15 training at the Hastings museum, please call 402-461-2339. To register for all other trainings, visit go.unl.edu/solareclipse. Space is limited.
For more information contact Beth Janning, Science and Agriculture in Action Educator at Raising Nebraska at 308-385-3967 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Raising Nebraska is a joint effort of Nebraska Extension within the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, the Nebraska Department of Agriculture and the Nebraska State Fair.