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Reports from the Solar Eclipse

WVU Eclipse WVU Eclipse
On August 21, 2017 West Virginians were treated to up to 90% coverage of the Sun by the Moon during the "The Great American Eclipse." Dr. Kathryn Williamson and Dr. Amy Keesee received grants from WVU for Community Engagement and from the WV Space Grant Consortium for K-12 Teacher professional development to prepare teachers, students, and the public for this historic event. Together with Extension Service, the Green Bank Observatory, and additional support from the West Virginia Space Grant Consortium, we took a multi-faceted approach to engage a wide range of audiences, including:
  • Design & Distribution of 31,000 custom-designed safe-viewing eclipse glasses
  • A 4-H eclipse-themed summer science experiment
  • Teacher Professional Development through 5 videos and 3 Q&A Web Chats
  • School Visits by WVU Faculty
  • A Pre-Eclipse Open-House Event on Saturday, August 19th at the WVU Physics & Astronomy Department
  • An Eclipse-Day Viewing outside the WVU Mountainlair

We estimate that our eclipse project engaged over 50,000 West Virginians!
WVU Eclipse Locations receiving eclipse glasses. Blue = schools, red = informal venues (ex: 4-H clubs). Dot size is proportional to distributed numbers.
  • Participants gained awareness, interest, and ability to safely view the eclipse
  • Participants gained greater understanding of eclipses, the Sun-Earth-Moon connection, and space science.
  • Participants experienced a greater sense of community and appreciation for WVU.
  • Educators had greater ability and confidence to host their own eclipse viewing events.
  • Educators are more likely to visit WVU and make use of other science education resources.

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