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Solar Eclipse 2017

Call for N.C. Event Hosts for the Carolinas Solar Eclipse Party

Thanks to the success of our annual NC Statewide Star Party, we are pleased to announce the 2017 Carolinas Solar Eclipse Party, a joint effort between North and South Carolina funded by NC Space Grant and SC Space Grant.

On Monday afternoon, August 21, 2017, all of North Carolina will experience a partial solar eclipse. A sliver of the western part of the state also gets a total solar eclipse, for up to about two and a half minutes.

We will select up to 32 hosts across North Carolina who are committed to producing successful eclipse events for the public and who, collectively, can engage a geographically diverse set of visitors across North Carolina. Your event location does not need to be in the path of totality.

Priority will be given to applicants that demonstrate enthusiasm for the project, a track record of successful event planning, and an interest in inviting nontraditional audiences.

Additionally, successful applicants will partner with other organizations (science centers, astronomy clubs, parks, teachers, libraries, storytellers, Scout groups, etc.). We encourage potential hosts with venues in close proximity to collaborate on a single event. However, we recognize that some urban areas can support multiple events.

Event hosts will attend a full day of in-person professional development in spring 2017 that will include training on hosting a successful eclipse event on August 21, 2017, eye safety, and presenting educational activities related to the eclipse. An Eclipse Party kit with eclipse glasses and an extensive set of hands-on activities and materials will be distributed to each host at the training.

Requirements to be an Eclipse Party host:

  • You must plan an event during the eclipse on Monday, August 21, 2017. An indoor rain/cloud plan is strongly encouraged, but not mandatory.
  • Your event will be open to the public. Free events are encouraged, but not mandatory.
  • Your event includes a safe solar observing component involving the real sky. No planetarium-only events, except in case of clouds or rain. (Offering viewing with eclipse glasses meets the safe solar observing requirement.)
  • You must have partners that you will collaborate with to plan and host your event. Your partners may include science centers, astronomy clubs, parks, teachers/local school, library, storytellers, Scout groups, church groups, etc.
  • Your organization and/or your partnering organizations supplies the venue and staffing. (Be aware that you should not count on finding astronomers to partner with, especially if your location will not experience the total eclipse.)
  • You must send at least two people planning or staffing your event (from among your organization and/or your partners) to attend in-person professional development of approximately 6 hours. These trainings are scheduled for:
    • Monday, May 8, 2017, in Rosman, at Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute
    • Monday, May 15, 2017, in Wilmington, at Cape Fear Museum of History and Science.
    • Monday, May 22, 2017, in Chapel Hill, at Morehead Planetarium and Sciece Center.
    • An additional training is scheduled for April 10-13, 2017 in Cullowhee at the NC Center for the Advancement of Teaching. This training is available only for K-12 teachers who have applied and been accepted to that particular NCCAT seminar.
  • You commit to trying out in advance the educational activities in the Eclipse Party kit, which will be supplied by the Eclipse Party Coordinators at your training, and to using 3 or more activities (out of at least six) at your event.
  • You commit to recruiting and training staff and volunteers to work at your event, including how to lead kit activities.
  • You agree to pass along communications from the Eclipse Party Coordinators to everyone working the event.
  • You agree to complete an event host evaluation survey by September 30, 2017.
  • You agree to share anecdotes and photos from your event with the Carolinas Solar Eclipse Initiative team when possible.

The Carolinas Solar Eclipse Initiative team will:

  • Provide each host with a free Eclipse Party kit with eclipse glasses and educational activities to engage visitors.
  • Provide in-person professional development on kit activities, eye safety, and successful event hosting. (Hosts cover their own travel expenses. The training itself is free.)
  • Grant hosts access to exclusive video shorts that explain the eclipse, where to view it, and how to safety view it.
  • List host event details on Morehead’s eclipse website.
  • Promote each host event via Morehead’s and the North Carolina Science Festival’s social media feeds.
  • Provide hosts with Eclipse Party branding tools, such as logo and boiler-plate press release language, for use with the hosts’ print and electronic marketing efforts.

You can apply to be an Eclipse event host through February 17, 2017. We will be in touch with all applicants by the end of February. You will receive your Eclipse Party kit at the in-person training you attend.

To review the application questions in advance, please click here to download a PDF document with a list of the questions.

To apply to be a N.C. event host for the Carolinas Solar Eclipse Party, click here

For more information, please contact:

Mickey Jo Sorrell and Amy Sayle

Coordinators, Carolinas Solar Eclipse Party

Email: eclipse@unc.edu

Phone: 919-445-8324


The Carolinas Solar Eclipse Party is made possible with the support of NC Space Grant, SC Space Grant, Morehead Planetarium and Science Center, North Carolina Science Festival, and Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute.


For more information on the 2017 Solar Eclipse, click here.