Eclipse provides "aha moment" to inspire kids

Eclipse provides "aha moment" to inspire kids. (NTV News)

The sun and moon collide, And Nebraska's in prime position for this cosmic show.

The total solar eclipse arrives August 21, carving a path across much of Nebraska.

Katie Karr, education assistant at Hastings Museum said, “We luck out where we have wide open areas, not a lot of light pollution, makes Nebraska a great place to see it.”

Teachers want to be ready, so Nebraska Extension and Hastings Museum have teamed up to help.

Extension Educator Beth Janning said, “It's about equipping our teachers, our young professionals educating with youth, and allowing them to walk about with lessons they can implement in their classroom or out of school setting.”

And for some kids along the path of totality, it'll a memorable day for more reasons than one.

Mary Carriker’s a third grade teacher at Sandy Creek.

She said, “August 21 will be our first day of school and we'll be spending a lot of it outside so we can observe the solar eclipse.”

She hopes it’ll be a special event kids will remember, and maybe inspire some future scientists.

“That would be really exciting and something I hope might happen,” she said.

And the lesson plans encourage kids to consider the future.

Janning said, “We're really using that eclipse as our aha or wow moment to share our story with other things.”

“It gets kids thinking you don't have to just be a scientist in the lab, you can do all these other things,” Karr said.

It should be a memorable day for Mrs. Carriker’s class.

“It's going to be a really exciting first day of school,” she said.

Janning said they hope to find “citizen scientists” to track the weather, as the temperature may drop ten degrees during the eclipse.


More free training sessions are planned, for teachers and youth professionals.

The free training sessions are 2 to 4 p.m. Training dates and locations are:

> June 1: Raising Nebraska, Nebraska State Fairgrounds, 501 E. Fonner Park Road, Grand Island

> June 15: Hastings Museum, 1330 N. Burlington Ave., Hastings

> June 18: Raising Nebraska

> July 27: Training via Zoom video conference

To register for the June 15 training, call 402-461-2339. To register for all other trainings, visit

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