Solar science resources are available from the Wisconsin Department for Public Instruction for local libraries looking to host activities coinciding with the upcoming solar eclipses. Public libraries can serve as centers for eclipse education and viewing for their communities during the annular solar eclipse in October 2023 and the total solar eclipse in April 2024, while state agencies, like the DPI, will be the backbone for supporting their libraries by circulating the solar science programming kits.
The solar science kits are a “program in a box,” featuring books Moonbear’s Shadow by Frank Asch and When the Sun Goes Dark by Andrew Fraknoi and Dennis Schatz, interactive activities, and solar viewing instruments including a solar telescope, a SunSpotter, and Sunoculars. They also include printed materials aimed at helping public library staff feel more comfortable when talking about these exciting celestial events. There are two kits geared for a multigenerational audience, and two kits for a younger audience.
The solar kits, along with two in-person training workshops held in September 2023 for library staff throughout Wisconsin, were made possible by funding from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and a supplement to the NASA@My Library project,the Space Science Institute, through its Solar Eclipse Activities for Libraries (SEAL).
To reserve a kit for a program at your library, please submit a SEAL KIT Reservation request. The kits are available statewide starting the week of October 20th, 2023. A description of the contents of each kit is also available.
For programming ideas and other resources, visit Solar Eclipse Activities for Libraries (SEAL).
Please email Jeni Schomber, Public Library Consultant, if you have any questions.