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Solar Eclipse 2017

Missouri preparing for first total eclipse of the sun since 1869

People throughout the Midwest will converge on Missouri on Aug. 21, 2017, for the state's first total solar eclipse in more than 148 years. The 2017 eclipse will move quickly across the state, sweeping from northwest to southeast. Depending on your location in the state, the eclipse will begin between 11:30 a.m. and noon and will continue until between 2:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has been working with districts and teachers since early 2017 to provide information and details for schools who will already be in session on Aug. 21. Discussions about this unique occurrence don't stop when the school bell rings; they continue around the dinner table at home! Use the information below to foster a conversation with your family about this event.

Solar Eclipse Resources
The Total Eclipse in 3D!
  • The learning model for science takes on three dimensions: Science and Engineering Practices, Crosscutting Concepts and Disciplinary Core Ideas.
    • Science and Engineering Practices are the major practices undertaken by the science and engineering communities to develop theories or design systems.
    • Crosscutting Concepts are common ideas which span all domains of science.
    • Disciplinary Core Ideas are the phenomena, or natural event, which reflects aspects of traditional science content.
  • Applying all three dimensions gives students a better understanding of science as a body of work, as opposed to a list of facts. According to the report, A Framework for K-12 Education, the goal of the three dimensions is to help students become "critical consumers of scientific information."
  • The table below shows how this year's total eclipse is directly represented in our new Missouri Learning Standards (MLS) science expectations. This does not mean events associated with the eclipse are limited to the expectations below. Observations of phenomena associated with the event are applicable as well: Do chickens come home to roost when it gets dark? What are fish doing when this occurs? Will you be able to see stars? The eclipse itself is a seed of knowledge for students. How that knowledge grows from there is up to educators and stakeholders. Let the students question everything!
Science and Engineering Practices Crosscutting Concepts Disciplinary Core Ideas
Ask Questions Patterns Earth's Place in the Universe
Developing and Using Models Cause and Effect Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions
Planning and Carrying out Investigations Scale, Proportion, and Quantity  
Analyzing and Interpreting Data Systems and System Models  
Constructing Explanations (for science) Stability and Change  
Engaging in Argument from Evidence    
Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information    


Classroom Learning: Missouri Learning Standards and the Solar Eclipse
  • Early elementary (1.ESS1.A.1): Describing the presence of the sun, moon and stars in the sky over time.
  • Early elementary (1.ESS1.A.2): Use observations of the sun, moon and stars to describe patters that can be predicted.
  • Late elementary (5.ESS1.A.1): Support an argument that relative distances from Earth affects the apparent brightness of the sun compared to other stars.
  • Late elementary (5.ESS1.B.2): Represent data in graphical displays to reveal patters of daily changes in length and direction of shadows, day and night, and the seasonal appearance of some stars in the night sky.
  • Middle school (6-8.ESS1.A.1): Develop and use a model of the Earth-sun-moon system to explain the cyclic patterns of lunar phases and eclipses of the sun and moon.
  • Middle school (6-8.ESS1.A.3): Develop and use a model to describe the role of gravity in the motions within galaxies and the solar system.
  • Middle school (6-8.ESS1.B.1): Analyze and interpret data to determine scale properties of objects in the solar system.
  • High school (9-12.ESS1.B.1): Use Kepler's Law to predict the motion of orbiting objects in the solar system.