Total Eclipse of the Heartland


Exciting programs in STEAM this August, including the return of a favorite class, as well as an astronomical astronomical event!

Maker Monday: Transform Your Memories Into Digital was so popular that we're having it again on Monday, August 14th from 7:00-8:30pm in the Porter Room! Westlake Porter Public Library has Maker Stations that can convert your records into mp3s, your slides and pictures into digital formats, and your VHS tapes into DVDs. Learn how here.

The following Monday, August 21st from 12:00-4:30pm in the Porter Room is our Eclipse Watch Party! A solar eclipse is a rare, spectacular event when the moon crosses in front of the sun, blocking out some of it (in a partial eclipse) or all of it (a total eclipse). NASA has a comprehensive website completely dedicated to eclipse events around the country.

Cleveland is not getting the total solar eclipse that some of the country is getting (see map), but we will be seeing a partial eclipse- 80-90% of the sun blocked out by the moon. Never fear, though, because on April 8, 2024, Cleveland is directly in the path of a total solar eclipse!

The last time Cleveland had a great view of a solar eclipse was May 10, 1994's annular eclipse- "annular" meaning the moon blocked out the middle of the sun, leaving a "ring of fire." A few partial eclipses have occurred since then.

During our Eclipse Watch Party, watch NASA's livestream of the total eclipse from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois on the big screen. Then hang around until the skies darken in Northeast Ohio (our partial eclipse maxes out at 2:30pm)! NASA experts will explain the underlying science in between views of the total eclipse as it happens. Refreshments, eclipse glasses, and fun activities provided!

The eclipse glasses are extremely important, because without them, you could permanently damage your eyes. During solar eclipses, many people think it's "safe" to look directly at the sun- it's not! You also want to make sure you have real eclipse glasses and not fake ones. (Ours are, indeed, real).

If you don't have glasses, you can also make pinhole viewers out of cardstock, aluminum foil, and tape. Grades 3-5 can attend STEAMMaker Lab to make some right here!