Partner Highlight: NISE Net partners host stellar line-up of solar eclipse events all across the U.S.

Kayla Berry, Museum of Science
NISE Net partner SEISE events


The continental U.S. hasn't seen a total eclipse like this since 1918 and so NISE Network partners have been busily preparing for the upcoming August 21st solar eclipse for months. Some, along or near the path of totality, have even been making plans for a year or more! Partners who received a 2017 Explore Science: Earth & Space toolkit have had an opportunity to engage visitors through hands-on activities in learning about Earth and space science with connections to science, technology, and society, and the toolkit is also a great additional resource for solar eclipse events.

Check out a snapshot below of NISE Network partner events taking place all across the country throughout August.

For complete eclipse information, visit

The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry hosts Total Solar Eclipse Viewing Party in Portland, Oregon

OMSI will be celebrating the total solar eclipse at the Oregon State Fairgrounds with a Solar Eclipse Viewing Party that will include science lectures, astronomy-related community groups, entertainment, and more. Visit OMSI’s eclipse webpage for more eclipse resources and classroom activities and resources for educators, including NASA’s Eclipse 2017 guide, an eclipse simulator, and a Sun-Earth Day page for educators that includes lesson plans for grades K-12.

Fleet Science Center celebrates The Great American Eclipse in San Diego, California

Leading up to the partial eclipse visible in San Diego, the Fleet Science Center is providing pre-eclipse events including planetarium shows and lectures about the universe, science clubs for kids with hands-on activities to learn about the eclipse, and a special Solar Eclipse Maker Hour held in collaboration with the Museum of Photographic Arts. From DIY cardboard viewers to pinhole projects, participants will explore ways to safely and creatively photograph the solar eclipse, and will also have the opportunity to build a head-mounted camera obscura that can be used to safely view the eclipse. Day-of eclipse event activities will include hands-on activities from the Explore Science: Earth and Space toolkit, making pinhole projectors, talking with their resident astronomer and much more.

Astronaut family visits Children’s Museum in Kearney, Nebraska

Kearney Area Children’s Museum in Kearney, Nebraska is hosting a special “Solar Eclipse Themed” Free Family Fun Night event on August 17th that will include two special guests: a NASA astronaut and NASA engineer who will be giving a presentation on space exploration and its importance, and discussing the solar eclipse. There will be plenty of time set aside afterwards for autographs and pictures with both (who also happen to be husband and wife). In addition to this special event, the museum will be offering a variety of space activities for children throughout the museum. NASA Night: Meet & Greet

Kentucky Science Center hosts Watch Party at Logan County Public Library in Russellville, Kentucky

Kentucky will have one of the best views of the total solar eclipse and Kentucky Science Center will have one of the best opportunities and programs to put visitors at the center of this once-in-a-lifetime experience at the Logan County Public Library with a watch party for kids of all ages. The day will be filled with free programming to help visitors learn more, safely view, and totally experience the total eclipse of Kentucky. Activities will include building solar eclipse viewers, learning how to use a sun scale kit to measure the size and distance of the sun, learning about solar eclipses, space explorations and missions, as well as story-time to enjoy eclipse-related myths and tales from cultures across the world. Other events hosted by the Kentucky Science Center include a motor coach road trip "EXPERTS and the ECLIPSE" and a Total Solar Eclipse Destination Weekend with science center educators partnering with Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana on a weekend camp out with space-themed activities culminating with a viewing of the eclipse. 

Roper Mountain Science Center presents Eclipse Extravaganza in Greenville, South Carolina

Leading up to the eclipse, the museum has been showing the film “ECLIPSE: The Sun Revealed” in their planetarium to raise awareness about the eclipse and the science behind it. The museum is set on 61-acres and includes a natural science building, a living history farm, a planetarium and observatory, and a STEM center all of which will help to maximize the number of public participants they’re able to host for eclipse events. On August 21st, the Eclipse Extravaganza will include hands-on activities and special eclipse pop-up stations with make and take activities, solar viewing in the observatory, design challenges and citizen science projects, astronomy enthusiasts will be talking with and giving presentations to visitors, a Cherokee Native American group will be providing live story-telling about their heritage and what the eclipse means to them in the amphitheater, and there will also be a balloon launch as part of the museum’s involvement with the NASA Space Grant Consortium providing lives shots of the eclipse to share with visitors. For an additional resource idea, check out a coloring sheet created by a local news sponsor to help kids get engaged with the outside and the environment!

Sun scope viewing of the partial solar eclipse at the L.C. Bates Museum in Hinckley, Maine

The L.C. Bates Museum has been giving solar viewing glasses and informing people about the eclipse since January 2017 and will continue to run a special program for the eclipse. The museum is inviting guests to come participate in hands-on activities from the Explore Science: Earth & Space toolkit, and see the solar eclipse on either their large screen or through their sun viewing telescopes. Photographs will be taken through the telescopes of the partial eclipse and will be made available to visitors. Contact Deb Staber for more information.

Solar Eclipse Resources

If you are planning your own eclipse event - please see our compilation of resources and links:

If you would like to share your 2017 solar eclipse-related activities and events with the NISE Network community through an upcoming Partner Highlight, please contact Kayla Berry at [email protected] for more information.