Solar eclipse teaching tools; where to get eclipse glasses

Last Updated by Mike Smith on
Total eclipse near Tokat, Turkey, March 2006
Wikimedia Commons/Kurt Kulac

Among the multitude of subject matter available through PBS LearningMedia, the educational content provider has several resources dedicated to solar eclipses.

The U.S. mainland will experience its first total solar eclipse since 1979 on Aug. 21. Here in the Texas Panhandle, the eclipse will be partial, with the moon blocking about 80 percent of the sun about midday. The region's next partial solar eclipses will be in 2023 and 2024 (about 85 percent of the sun covered both times), 2028, and 2029.

PBS LearningMedia features a "toolkit" with lesson plans and discussion questions for teachers, and explanatory videos and eclipse-related activity information for parents and children.


As interest spikes in the coming eclipse, there has been a rush on the special glasses required to safely view the spectacle. Providers nationwide have reported shortages. If they haven't yet been ordered, be prepared that they may not ship in time for the eclipse.

Also, buyer beware. NASA has issued a warning about fake, ineffective glasses and has a list of reputable manufacturers and ways to verify the glasses' safety. Serious permanent eye damage can happen in a matter of seconds if looking directly at a partial eclipse.

In the Amarillo area, some locations have industry-approved, safe eclipse glasses available:

•  Broome Optical, 3408 Olsen Blvd., Amarillo: Glasses are available, with a request of a $1 donation to benefit the Downtown Women’s Center.
•  Don Harrington Discovery Center, 1200 Streit Drive, Amarillo: Glasses are available for purchase.


A few eclipse viewing events have been announced in the region:

•  Canyon Area Library, 1501 3rd Ave., Canyon: Eclipse viewing event between 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Free eclipse glasses are available during this event.
•  Deaf Smith County Library, 211 E. 4th St., Hereford: Solar Eclipse Viewing Event in the parking lot, with free eclipse glasses available during the event. The public is invited to bring lawn chairs. Bottled water will be available.
•  Science Spectrum & Omni Theater, Lubbock: Solar Eclipse Viewing Party, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Free event. 


How the eclipse will look in Amarillo (video courtesy



Mike Smith is a digital content producer for Panhandle PBS. Contact him at, on Twitter at @newsmithm and on Facebook.

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