On Monday, August 21, 2017, North America will experience an eclipse of the sun. Its path is expected to be 70 miles wide, stretching from Oregon to South Carolina and passing through Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Those in its path will see one of nature’s rarest sights—a total eclipse of the sun. Outside the direct path, observers will still see a partial solar eclipse where the moon covers part of the sun’s disk.
Prepare your students for this exciting event with Gizmos, our interactive math and science simulations for grades 3-12. With more than 400 Gizmos aligned to the latest standards to help educators bring powerful new learning experiences to the classroom, we offer three great Gizmos that can help your students understand the phenomena of the eclipse:
Phases of the Moon
To understand eclipses, students must first understand the phases
of the Moon. With this Gizmo, students observe the positions of the Moon, Earth and Sun. They learn the names of Moon phases and in what order they occur. Students can click Play to watch the Moon go around, or click Pause and drag the Moon themselves.
This Gizmos allows students to manipulate the position
of the Moon to model solar and lunar eclipses. They can view Earth’s shadow, the Moon’s shadow, or both, and observe the Moon and Sun from Earth during a partial and total eclipse. Students can adjust the sizes of the three bodies and the Earth-Moon distance.
Students can investigate the causes and frequency of eclipses by observing the motions of the Earth, Moon and Sun in three dimensions. They can watch Earth’s shadow crossing the Moon during a lunar eclipse, and the path of the Moon’s shadow across Earth’s surface during a solar eclipse. Students can adjust the angle of the Moon’s orbit as well as the distance of the Moon from the Earth.
You can also access our latest webinar, which offers tips on viewing the eclipse, as well as how to use simulations to make studying the Earth, Moon, and Sun—and viewing the eclipse—an engaging experience for your students.