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Vol State hosting family-friendly educational total solar eclipse event

(Courtesy Vol State)

Vol State in Gallatin is offering a family-friendly educational experience on Aug. 21 for the total solar eclipse.

Gallatin is among the best places to see the total solar eclipse and the college is providing a watching event for families to attend.

The totality in Gallatin will last 2 minutes and 40 seconds.

Science activities for kids will include a scale model of the solar system; construction of pinhole cameras to view the eclipse; making a sun dial; and constructing a solar hot dog cooker for a contest.

The public is invited to the event, but must register first. CLICK HERE to register.

Here's a tentative schedule:

Parking and entry

  • Campus officially opens at 8 a.m. Parking will be limited. We encourage carpools.

Caudill Hall Wemyss Auditorium

  • 9:30 a.m. Auditorium Welcome by Vol State President, Dr. Jerry Faulkner, and eclipse viewing suggestions and warnings
  • 10:15 a.m. “Image and Understanding: Overcoming Error through Observation and Reason" by Dr. Jeremy Shipley, Vol State Philosophy
  • 11:30 a.m. “Eclipses in History and Culture” by Dr. Joe Douglas, Vol State History
  • 12:30 p.m.-1 p.m. Eclipse video feeds from other parts of country

Pickel Field House Gym

  • 7 a.m. - 3 p.m. Athletic Department Concessions open for breakfast and lunch
  • 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. Kid and parent activities by Vol State faculty and staff volunteers
  • “Solar System Scale Model” -a gym sized model to explore
  • “Construct a Pinhole Camera” -use it to watch the eclipse
  • “Make a sun dial and see it in action” -take it outside to track the sun
  • “Astronomical and Earth Science Face Painting”
  • 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and Noon Kid and family presentation and songs about eclipse phases and viewing an eclipse- Bob Swanson, Instructor of Physical Sciences / Geography, Itawamba Community College- Tupelo, MS

Thigpen Library Lawn

  • 9 a.m. Day kick-off with light, fun, family Yoga and discussion of how astronomical events are used in Yoga- by Joanna Blauw, Vol State Health and Fitness
  • 10:30 a.m. Lawn Welcome by Vol State President, Dr. Jerry Faulkner, and eclipse viewing suggestions and warnings
  • 11 a.m. “Build a Solar Cooker Contest” -kids build sun powered cookers out of material we provide. It’s a race to cook hot dogs the quickest! Parents please attend with your child to participate.
  • 11:15 a.m. What does it take to get good pictures of an eclipse? We talk to a Montgomery County Community College assistant professor of Physics, visiting from Pennsylvania. Kelli Corrado Spangler explains the Coronado Solar telescope.
  • 11:30 a.m. Why travel for a total eclipse? A conversation with Starr Livingstone, amateur astronomer from Ontario, Canada and member of the Royal Astronomy Society of Canada.
  • 11:45 a.m. “How the eclipse may or may not affect natural background radiation” by the Vol State Radiologic Technology Program
  • Noon Direct solar viewing can cause serious eye damage. There are some surprising people in history who damaged their eyes by looking directly at the Sun. We chat with Alisha Cornish, Director of the Vol State Ophthalmic Technology Program
  • 12:30 p.m. Solar Cooker Contest winners announced
  • 1 p.m. - 2 p.m. Eclipse Narration before and after totality, Bob Swanson, Itawamba Community College- Tupelo, MS

Wood Campus Center - Nichols Dining Rooms

  • 7 a.m. - 4 p.m. Vol State Café open for breakfast and lunch
  • 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. Eclipse themed art work on display in the Nichols Dining Room
  • 11 a.m. Eclipse and astronomy themed poetry, story-telling and music

The Eclipse Watch event will end at 3 p.m.

The Vol State campus will close to the public at 6 p.m.

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