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Native Earth | Native Sky Solar Eclipse Professional Development

NASA's Native Earth | Native Sky (NENS) program builds culturally-relevant earth-sky Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) programming for middle schoolers in three Oklahoma Native American nations that will increase the students’ understanding of and interest in STEM. In February, 2024, in preparation for the upcoming Total Solar Eclipse on April 8th, 2024, NENS held a Professional Development (PD) event for teachers across the state of Oklahoma.

During this PD, the NENS team hosted 110 K-12 teachers and administrators at Oklahoma State University-Stillwater. The educators learned about NENS, heard an overview of eclipse science, and then spent the second half of the event receiving and learning resources on how to teach the eclipse to their students and safely experience it with them. A major highlight of the PD was splitting the educators into groups and modeling the Earth/Sun/Moon relationship during an eclipse. During this portion of the day, teachers received lesson slides and many other resources to use at their own schools. Thanks to NASA, each educator that attended the PD left with a class-set of eclipse viewing glasses. They also received two books for each classroom as well: "A Few Beautiful Minutes" by Kate Allen Fox and "Totality! An Eclipse Guide in Rhyme and Science" by Jeffrey Bennett.

The NENS team is now sharing these resources in their local town of Stillwater, Oklahoma, where they will experience 93% sun coverage on eclipse day. NENS will continue to offer Professional Development activities at local elementary schools and give eclipse viewing glasses and resources to their teachers.

Native Earth | Native Sky (NENS) is a $4 million cooperative agreement (award number: 80NSSC21M0005 P00001) between Oklahoma State University and NASA and is part of the NASA Science Activation Program portfolio.

Photo of two teachers as they model the sun/moon/earth relationship with flashlights and styrofoam ball. One teacher sees the moon phases and smiles.
Favorite-Moon Phases smiling photo: As teachers model the sun/moon/earth relationship with flashlights and styrofoam ball, a teacher sees the moon phases and smiles.