9 Teaching Resources for Illuminating the 2024 Eclipse

03 Apr 2024 10 min read
Sarah Phelps
Sarah Phelps
Program Manager, Computer Science and STEM, Learning Technology Center
Sam Fishel
Sam Fishel
Digital Content Manager, Learning Technology Center

For the second time in only seven years, Illinois is gearing up for a total solar eclipse. In addition to being a brilliant sight to behold (while wearing appropriate eclipse glasses, of course), the April 8, 2024 eclipse is a great opportunity to teach students of all ages about the science of astronomy and the wonders of the natural world.

If you’re interested in making this month’s eclipse a teaching opportunity, you don’t need to fly to the moon and back. Just grab one of these resources curated by our team and get ready to bring this celestial experience into your classroom.

Even after the eclipse has passed, these resources are a reliable way to hook your students on astronomy and spark their interest in further STEM learning:

Eclipse Education Resources

Eclipse Viewing Safety

Featuring: Guidance on how to safely view the total solar eclipse, including when it is safe and not safe for students to view the sun with special eclipse glasses.

Shared by: Patricia Ferris, Instructional Technology Coach

7 Activities to Get Kids Excited for the Solar Eclipse

Featuring: How to create a pinhole viewer, how to create sun prints, and how to pop a balloon using the sun’s rays.

Shared by: Jen Leban, Instructional Technology Coach

What are Eclipses? Video Lesson

Featuring: A visual intro to what causes a solar eclipse + insights into how ancient cultures predicted and understood eclipses, presented by PBS.

Shared by: Sam Fishel, Digital Content Manager

Eclipse Live Stream from SIU Carbondale

Featuring: Live footage of the eclipse from southern Illinois, where the eclipse’s totality will be greatest. Perfect for classrooms outside the eclipsed area!

Shared by: Stacie Tefft, Instructional Technology Coach

3D Eclipse Model

Featuring: Interactive modules that visualize the sky as the eclipse occurs + a detailed map of the eclipse’s track across North America.

Shared by: Brian Krause, Instructional Technology Coach

Rockets & More for K-12 Learners

Featuring: STEM-focused kits  to help elementary, middle, and high school students learn about rockets, space, and Earth’s natural resources, offered by Pitsco.

Shared by: ILTPP

Neurodiversity and the Eclipse

Featuring: Tips and guidance on how to help all students safely and productively engage with the eclipse, including priming them with connections to prior interests and establishing clear behavioral expectations.

Shared by: Kristi Connelly, Marketing & Communications Manager

Solar Eclipse Observer’s Guides and Handouts

Featuring: Guides for educators and families on what to watch for during the eclipse, created by the National Science Teaching Association (NSTA).

Shared by: Sarah Phelps, CS & STEM Program Manager

Eclipse Teaching Resource Collections

Featuring: Even more eclipse-themed teaching resources, including videos and viewing guides, on Wakelet.

Shared by: Patricia Ferris, Instructional Technology Coach | Jen Leban, Instructional Technology Coach

Illuminating the Next STEM Learning Experience

Keep the momentum from your students’ once-in-a-lifetime experience going with follow up lessons focused on STEM topics. 

Our Computer Science Resource Database is a great place to discover lesson plans and teaching tools that’ll help your learners grow into tomorrow’s astronomers and aerospace engineers.

Join our CS & STEM Networking Group

You can also take your science teaching prowess to a whole new galaxy by joining our CS & STEM networking group.

Each monthly online meeting will help you connect with other passionate educators and discover innovative ways to bring computer science and STEM topics down to Earth.

Sarah Phelps
Sarah Phelps
Program Manager, Computer Science and STEM, Learning Technology Center

Sarah leads computer science and STEM initiatives, manages partnerships with state and national organizations, and elevates the LTC’s role as a thought leader in the K-12 computer science space.

Sam Fishel
Sam Fishel
Digital Content Manager, Learning Technology Center

Sam leads and supports the execution and growth of LTC services through the development and creation of innovative, impactful, and timely digital content.