Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Vol State Announces Eclipse Event Activities for Families August 21

The August 21 total solar eclipse will be a moment for families to share together. Volunteer State Community College has a free and educational eclipse watching event planed that day for kids and parents. Everyone, from everywhere, is invited, but advance registration is required. The total eclipse will only be seen in a narrow path across the United States. Gallatin will be one of the best spots in the country to view the total eclipse, with totality lasting two minutes and forty seconds. Educational presentations at Vol State will include an examination of the eclipse event in human history and culture and how viewing the sun can cause eye damage, if you’re not safe. There will be discussions with amateur astronomers who are traveling to Vol State from across North America to view the eclipse. 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. There will even be astronomically themed face painting. A science instructor from Mississippi will be doing fun eclipse presentations for younger kids that will include music and demonstrations. There will be a live narration during the totality and free viewing glasses for attendees. The activities will be held both outside on the Thigpen Library lawn and in air-conditioned buildings.
The Vol State event will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Eclipse viewing in the area will be from noon to 3 p.m. Totality will occur at 1:27 p.m. Viewing will be dependent on the weather. Attendees are encouraged to pack for a picnic, as seating will be on the lawn. Food and drinks will be available for sale at the event. There will be no smoking or alcohol allowed on campus. Attendance will be capped at 3500. While a ticket is not needed, registration is required. Click here to register. One person can enter one form for a group attending the event. Traffic in Gallatin is expected to be heavy on that day. Attendees are encouraged to car pool and arrive early. Registrations are already approaching 2000, so people should register soon. For details visit People with questions can also email or call 615-230-3570.
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
Eclipse viewing suggestions and warnings
9:45 a.m. “Image and Understanding: Overcoming Error through Observation and Reason" by Dr. Jeremy Shipley, Vol State Philosophy
10:45 a.m. “Eclipses in History and Culture” by Dr. Joe Douglas, Vol State History
11:45 a.m. Jonathan Pettus, Associate Director of the NASA – George C. Marshall Space Flight Center

12:45 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 CafĂ© 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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