Participants safely view the eclipse at approximately 90% totality in Davis.

The National Youth Science Academy (NYSAcademy) hosted a solar eclipse event on Monday, April 8th at our Davis Campus. About 450 people attended the event throughout the day. Students from Tucker Valley Elementary Middle School, Davis Thomas Elementary Middle School, the Mountain Laurel Learning Cooperative, homeschoolers, and other visitors participated.

Students enjoyed numerous activities – including an inflatable dome planetarium show, homemade pinhole cameras to view the eclipse, and a talk by Dr. Ryan Haupt, Executive Director of NYSAcademy, on women in STEM featuring WV’s own Katherine Johnson in particular. Students also made science-related projects in the MakerSpace – including eclipse masks on the laser engraver and bracelets that helped demonstrate the Purkinje effect, where red colors appear darker relative to other colors as the light levels decrease during an eclipse event.

  • Local artist and educator, Nanette Seligman, assists a student with his bracelet to demonstrate the Purkinje effect.
  • George Hebb, of The Computer Shop in Oakland, MD, works with students on the laser engraver to cut out eyeholes for eclipse glasses on student-designed paper plate sun masks.
  • Executive Director Ryan Haupt demonstrates the dynamics of an eclipse event to a group of students.
  • Participants safely view the eclipse at approximately 90% totality in Davis.

Jerod Caligiuri, Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Physics at Davis and Elkins College, led instruction and hands-on demos on the science of eclipses, including viewing the eclipse through a telescope with a sun filter for safety. Astronaut snacks such as cured meats from The Charm Farm in Beverly, local jerky, and dried fruits were provided for all to enjoy.

“We couldn’t think of a better way to spend such an important astronomical moment!” said April Miller of the Tucker County Family Support Center, who helped organize the event and make it such a success.

Ryan Haupt commented that: “Solar eclipses provide a rare opportunity to really feel our place in the universe. They’re a great chance to put our phones away and experience a cosmic event as a brief moment of shared awe and we are so grateful to have been able to enjoy this time with the local community.”

Many thanks to NASA WV Space Grant Consortium and the Parker Solar Probe for providing funds and eclipse glasses for this event.