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Northern Maine Educators Prepare for Totality!

More than 70 teachers, librarians, and informal educators from Aroostook County, Maine gathered to exchange ideas and make plans in preparation for celebrating the upcoming total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024. Sponsored by the NASA Science Activation project Learning Ecosystems Northeast (LENE) and organized/hosted by Francis Malcolm Science Center (FMSC) in Easton, ME, these Trek to Totality events held on January 30 and February 13, 2024 included activity demonstrations by LENE partners, Gulf of Maine Research Institute and University of Maine Cooperative Extension 4H, as well as a variety of local educators, librarians, and organizations. The highlight of each evening was a planetarium show created and delivered by FMSC's Jim Stepp. Aroostook County, in the heart of rural Maine, is right in the path of totality, and this small but mighty all-volunteer science center has long served as a local leader both in science education as well as within the LENE network. With these events and others upcoming, Learning Ecosystems Northeast is making sure the northeast corner of NASA Science Activation stakeholders is ready for Totality!

"We wanted to be sure everyone has a greater understanding of what occurs during an eclipse, as well as ideas and tools they can use. We’re trying to reach schools, because we want the children to be safe and we want them to know how special this eclipse is. All of science starts with observation. The eclipse is a great way for kids to do science by observing the natural world. The science center’s nature programs and planetarium shows aim to get kids excited about what they see around them." ~ Elaine Hendrickson -- Chair, Trek to Totality; Board Member, Francis Malcolm Science Center; Lead Educator, LENE's Aroostook Connected Learning Ecosystem

Learning Ecosystems Northeast is supported by NASA under cooperative agreement award number NNX16AB94A and is part of NASA’s Science Activation Portfolio.

Three women are in focus in the front of the image. They are gathered at a white six-foot table in a small room crowded with other people. The shelves around the small room are full of science materials and equipment. All of the people in the image are busy creating eclipse activities with craft materials. The woman in focus on the left is seated and holding a pinhole eclipse viewer that she has just made from materials scattered across the table. The woman in focus on the right is standing and smiling, admiring the pinhole viewer. The woman in focus in the center of the image is seated and is also smiling and admiring the pinhole viewer.
Teri Driscoll (left), a teacher at SAD 32 in Ashland ME, tries out the pinhole viewer she made during the Trek to Totality teacher workshop about the eclipse, held Jan. 30 in Easton ME. Observing are Jacqueline Rogers of SAD 29 in Houlton (center) and volunteer presenter Sue Beaudet.
The Star-Herald/Paula Brewer