NASA Total Eclipse 2017: Math Challenges
Here you'll find a collection of 15 math challenges that explore the mathematics related to the August 21, 2017 eclipse. The challenges initiate with simple graphing and measurement activities, then progress into proportions, algebra, trigonometry, and calculus. Pick and choose the activity most appropriate for your course level and student ability levels. An answer key is provided.
NASA Total Eclipse 2017: Make a Sun Funnel
For the adventurous teacher who wants to provide a safe, but dramatic experience for observing the total eclipse, this 60-page lab manual shows how to build a "Sun Funnel" that acts as a rear-screen projection system. According to the authors (who are astronomers), the device is safer than either the aperture filter devices or projecting the Sun's image from telescope to screen. The cost is < \$20 (provided you already have the telescope).
Genius by Stephen Hawking: "Where Are We - Total Eclipse"
In 2016, Stephen Hawking was commissioned to lead the development of a new generation of science videos -- volunteers and viewers are challenged to think like geniuses of the past to answer some of the most challenging and enduring questions in science. In this episode, the volunteers use scale models of the Earth and Moon to figure out the distance between the real objects. Can they think like ancient Greek astronomer Aristarchus? How can the concept of a total lunar eclipse help them? Teachers: This activity could actually be set up fairly easily on a day when the full moon is visible during daylight hours.
Genius by Stephen Hawking: "Where Are We - Solar Eclipse"
In this clip, the three stalwart volunteers strike out in the desert with scale models of the sun, Earth, and moon. Their mission: figure out the distance between Earth and the sun. Remember, they already figured out distance between Earth and the moon in the video linked directly above. The key to answering the question -- create a solar eclipse where the tiny "moon" passes in front of the model sun.