Tennessee Tech News

ORNL Traveling Science Fair to join Tech Eclipse Fest

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The Oak Ridge National Laboratory Traveling Science Fair will be among the free, educational activities at Tennessee Tech’s Eclipse Fest and Viewing Party on Aug. 21.

Published Tuesday Aug 8, 2017

A once-in-a-lifetime chance to witness a total solar eclipse and the opportunity to experience science on a whole new level will come together at Tennessee Tech as Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Traveling Science Fair joins the university’s Eclipse Fest and Viewing Party Monday, Aug. 21.

The ORNL Science Fair provides guests of all ages the opportunity to learn more about science and the importance of research being done at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Students enter carnival-style interactive trailers that describe various fields of research and areas of future job opportunities.

“Part of ORNL’s mission is finding ways to connect our research and our staff to the community,” said Leigha Humphries, protocol and community relations manager for Oak Ridge National Laboratory. “We are excited to be part of the Eclipse Fest and for all the attendees to visit our Traveling Science Fair to learn more about the wide variety of STEM careers at ORNL.”

The Science Fair will join Tech’s mobile STEM Mobile at the Eclipse Fest as part of the free, science-rich activities planned at the university for the Great American Eclipse on Aug. 21.

The Science Fair features six trailers where guests can explore the subatomic world of neutrons, learn how researchers explore the biggest and smallest systems in the universe, walk through a rainforest and explore plant life, learn how nuclear research is used, solve problems with supercomputers, or explore the importance of research, all in interactive and engaging exhibits.

Tennessee Tech is a NASA Official Viewing Location for the Great American Eclipse, which will send the moon’s shadow on an arch across North America and cause about two minutes and 30 seconds of daytime darkness in Cookeville. It’s a rare astronomical phenomenon that won’t happen again in Cookeville for another 500 years.

Tech Physics Chair Steve Robinson and Assistant Physics Professor Mary Kidd are NASA subject matter experts for the eclipse and will help facilitate guided eclipse viewing in Tech’s Tucker Stadium, where the first 10,000 guests will be provided with safe eclipse viewing glasses.

The Eclipse Festival will take place just outside the stadium beginning at 10 a.m. At 12:30 p.m., guests will gather in the stadium for the Viewing Party where they will be guided through sights in the sky as the partial eclipse begins. During totality, when the shadow completely covers the sun for about two minutes 30 seconds, experts will point out what can be seen in space.

Other activities at the Eclipse Festival will include a special appearance from Jet Propulsion from the PBS Kids show “Ready, Jet, Go,” demonstrations and telescope viewing with the Tech Physics Department, opportunity to create a commemorative print with the Appalachian Center for Craft, food vendors and other family-friend and science-related activities.

Tech’s Eclipse Fest and Viewing Party is free and open to the public, but registration is encouraged.

For more information about the event and registration information, visit www.tntech.edu/eclipse.

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