Museums & science centers
For cities and towns lucky enough to have them, science museums and centers are often the primary place to engage with science. The 2024 total solar eclipse will be no different, and the museums we’re supporting are ready for the big day. Dozens of museums along the path will have programs and activities leading up to April 8 and during the eclipse.
Working with the Association for Science and Technology Centers (ASTC), we’ve partnered with several museums and science centers to support community-centered eclipse celebrations. Independent of that partnership, we’re working with four museums to leverage the eclipse to form new community partnerships and expand their audiences, ensuring that more people, regardless of geography or economic status, can interact with the incredible work these institutions enable.
Rochester Museum and Science Center
The mission of the Rochester Museum and Science Center (RMSC) is to inspire a better future for all through curiosity, exploration, and participation in science, culture and the natural world. RMSC is the hub for science learning in the region and is home to the Strasenburgh Planetarium, interactive STEM themed exhibits and a wide range of educational programs for learners of all ages, including live science demonstrations, camps and lectures on cutting edge scientific topics. Rochester is very diverse, and RMSC’s priority is to better serve the entire community through exhibits and programs that are accessible and meaningful for people of all backgrounds. Read more
To prepare and excite the Rochester region for the incredible shared experience of the 2024 total solar eclipse, the RMSC plans to support more than 50 community partner organizations to participate in their RMSC Community Eclipse Ambassador Program. Ambassadors will be trained in eclipse education, basic astronomy and eclipse viewing safety. RMSC’s Ambassadors will be outfitted with equipment including a telescope with a solar viewing filter, educational materials, solar viewing glasses and materials for activities. The goal of the Community Eclipse Ambassador Program is to excite and educate Rochester about the April 8, 2024 total solar eclipse and decentralize STEM learning into communities, creating access for all. Participants represent community organizations, businesses and municipalities and serve people in Rochester and the nine counties (Monroe, Genesee, Livingston, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne, Wyoming and Yates) around the city.
Thinkery’s mission is to lead the future of play-based STEAM learning experiences that inspire and equip all children to be confident, creative thinkers. They see their role in the community as a connector and convenor. Their community relationship work is a deeply significant part of how they ensure that Thinkery experiences are informed by, designed for and provided to all children. Thinkery’s vision is for all children to cultivate a lifelong love of learning through experiences that highlight the organization’s core values of belonging, playfulness, innovation and collaboration. Read more
The Thinkery Ambassador program will support several key initiatives related to their community relationships work by implementing an eclipse taskforce to carry this work through the eclipse and beyond. They will follow a model for listening, learning and planning with Thinkery’s community to design customized learning experiences. With a focus on expanding partnerships into areas in Austin, Texas that have systematically been marginalized in STEAM, they will have the opportunity to center the voices and lived experiences of those communities. Thinkery hopes the 2024 total solar eclipse will act as a catalyst to spark a lifelong love of learning, a sense of joy and belonging.
Great Lakes Science Center
Located in Cleveland, Ohio, the Great Lakes Science Center is dedicated to making science, technology, engineering and math come alive. Their vision is a community where all people value science, technology, engineering and math to inform decision making and enrich lives. They cultivate creative, innovative, critical thinkers for the 21st century and support a learning culture that encourages curiosity and experimentation. The center brings people together by providing welcoming, fun and high-quality guest experiences and strengthens their community impact by collaborating with other organizations and connecting to STEM resources in the Ohio region. Read more
The Great Lakes Science Center plans to support 50 community partners with the training and resources to be community ambassadors who will lead their own 2024 eclipse celebrations, incorporating high-quality, engaging STEM educational programming. The center will focus on after-school programs and community-based organizations across the Northeast Ohio region within the path of totality. Ambassador organizations will receive glasses to view the eclipse safely, a telescope and solar filter, viewing panel, Sun/Moon/Earth model, colanders, marketing/promotional materials and printable educational materials. Ambassadors will also receive training to implement programming in their communities.
Terre Haute Children’s Museum
The Terre Haute Children’s Museum, located in Terre Haute, Indiana, enriches children's lives through play and the exploration of science, technology, engineering and math. The museum emphasizes STEM in their everyday lives through exhibits and programming. They are the only organization in West Central Indiana and East Central Illinois dedicated to STEM engagement. Families look to the Terre Haute Children’s Museum for a blend of education and entertainment for their children from birth through 12 years old. The museum helps create memories across generations, as almost 54,000 children, parents, grandparents, cousins and friends explore, experiment and engage with STEM annually within their walls and via their programs. Read more
As the local science center, the museum is the convening organization for 2024 eclipse planning in Vigo County. The intent of the program is to extend the museum's reach in serving diverse communities that may not be able to visit museums and create new access and enthusiasm for science learning. The museum will support science ambassadors by providing training, supplies, equipment, educational resources and ongoing assistance to empower them to create customized science learning experiences in their communities.. The awareness, excitement and enthusiasm around the 2024 eclipse will provide a unique opportunity to build relationships with communities who are less connected to STEM and the museum.
Lake Erie Arboretum at Frontier
Lake Erie Arboretum at Frontier (LEAF) is excited to announce “Sun, Moon, and Trees: Arboretum Eclipse Bash” on April 8, 2024! LEAF will host a celestial celebration where the sun, moon and trees unite in a cosmic dance. Engage with local astronomers, witness the eclipse through specialized telescopes amid the arboretum’s lush greenery, and enjoy family-friendly activities. It’s a blend of nature and astronomy, promising an unforgettable experience for all. With live entertainment, eclipse-themed snacks and interactive exhibits, this event is a unique opportunity to marvel at the wonders of the cosmos at Frontier Park in Erie, Pennsylvania.
kidscommons Children’s Museum
In the week leading up to the solar eclipse, kidscommons will provide six activities in five-minute programming sessions at the museum which will teach children what occurs during an eclipse and explain the importance of safety precautions while the eclipse is taking place. Beyond these six activities, as the event approaches, kidscommons will staff booths and participate in community events at the local public library. All the events taking place outside the museum will be free to the public, and kidscommons is providing staff time to assist with these activities.
Lake Loramie State Park Nature Center
Lake Loramie State Park will host interactive, family-friendly solar eclipse programs from April 6 to 8, featuring free activities such as evening nature walks, nocturnal animal demonstrations, STEM projects, constellation identification, educational sessions with local partners, and more. Ohio’s Center of Science and Industry is partnering with Lake Loramie to provide hands-on scientific experiences. Programming before the eclipse will highlight the many ways solar eclipses affect the environment and impact life on Earth. The center hopes all learners will ask questions, gather information and develop a hypothesis to put to the test during the eclipse.
Little Rock Zoo
The Little Rock Zoo is one of the most unique places to view the much-anticipated solar eclipse on Monday, April 8, 2024. By visiting the Little Rock Zoo, guests can observe firsthand how resident wildlife reacts to this phenomenon, engage with staff and volunteers at interpretation stations around the zoo, and participate in science activities related to the eclipse. Live music and entertainment make this a family-friendly event you don’t want to miss! The Conservation Learning Center will be open on weekend dates before and after the eclipse for families to explore solar events and how wildlife is affected.
Mayborn Museum, Baylor University
The Mayborn Museum at Baylor University is celebrating the 2024 eclipse with pre-eclipse programming consisting of an outdoor event on the day of the eclipse and professional development workshops for teachers estimated to reach more than 40,000 students. Students will receive eclipse viewing glasses and free entry to the museum. The Mayborn will also play an active role in planning and executing STEM Zones for a large-scale event on Baylor’s campus on April 8, 2024, in collaboration with Baylor, the city of Waco, Lowell Observatory and the Discovery network. Activities include pinhole viewers, observation posters, and a passive shadow tinker station.
Mayborn Science Theater & Planetarium
Mayborn Science Theater will use these funds to showcase the total solar eclipse, whose path of totality will include Killeen, Texas. The theater has plans with local cities to host a large event and serve as the epicenter for central Texas, since the theater has the rare addition of a planetarium. These events will start on Friday, April 5, and conclude on April 8. The theater will also offer crafts and safety lessons for students and the public from October through April. The eclipse will be a memorable event, and Mayborn Science Theater hopes to create lasting memories for all those near and far.
Mid-America Science Museum
The Mid-America Science Museum hopes to encourage the community to fully experience the 2024 total eclipse. In the months leading up to the eclipse, the museum will offer facilitated, hands-on discovery tables with eclipse-related themes, a specialized show entitled “Darkness Over Arkansas” in our Digital Dome Theater, and pairs of certified eclipse glasses for the viewing on the museum grounds. The opportunity to see a total eclipse in Arkansas will not occur again for another 60 years, and for many this will be their only opportunity to learn about this astronomical process in a fun and engaging environment.
Minnetrista Museum & Gardens
Minnetrista Museum & Gardens is hosting a weekend full of events for the whole family to celebrate the solar eclipse. On Saturday and Sunday visitors will explore the art and science of eclipses through crafts and activities as well as performances of an eclipse-themed one-act play. On Sunday evening, join Minnetrista and Orchestra Indiana for “Eclipsed: A Magical Night of Music” under the open sky. Visitors are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and picnic blankets to revel in celestial-themed musical selections. The climax unfolds on Monday, April 8, when Minnetrista Museum & Gardens welcomes the community to its expansive lawns for a community viewing party!
Muncie Children’s Museum
The Muncie Children’s Museum in Muncie, Indiana, will hold a series of activities for children ages 4 to 10 to learn about and prepare for the eclipse and celebrate this great science experiment in the sky. Beginning in February, hands-on activity stations at the museum will be included with paid admission and available during its February and March Free Saturdays. On April 6, 7 and 8, the museum will have an educational team at Minnetrista Museum & Gardens, also in Muncie, to offer free outdoor activities and take part in a family-friendly viewing party on their expansive lawns.
Museum of Discovery
The Museum of Discovery’s mission is to ignite and fuel a passion for science, technology, engineering, arts and math through dynamic, interactive experiences. Through in-museum programming, community and school outreach, and professional development, the museum serves nearly 200,000 people a year hailing from all 50 states. In the lead-up to the total eclipse, the museum is offering free professional development workshops to educators and dedicating two of its galleries to museum programming. On the day of the eclipse, the museum will be available for everyone to enjoy, with a keen eye toward providing a safe space and resources for neurodiverse visitors.
Museum of Science & Technology
In the months leading up to the eclipse, the Museum of Science & Technology will distribute more than 2,000 free eclipse kits to educators, businesses, offices, museum members and others, and will also display a special solar eclipse promotional exhibit, screen a custom eclipse-themed planetarium show, and host other promotional astronomy-related activities and events throughout the month of March with local students, scientists and meteorologists. On April 8, the museum will host the 2024 Solar Eclipse Festival on the museum lawn and grounds, with food trucks, music, activity booths from the museum and its partners, and distribution of glasses.
Museum of the Red River
The Museum of the Red River will host a total eclipse event on April 8, 2024. They will provide on-site bathrooms, host food trucks, and offer free crafts and other activities for the public to enjoy. Astronomer Sheldon Schafer will be on-site on the day of the eclipse and for a few days beforehand to provide in-depth education to museum visitors. Science Museum Oklahoma Programs Vice President Clint Stone as well as Kirkpatrick Planetarium Director Waylon Troyer and planetarium educator Astoria Hallford will be visiting the museum to assist with event programming, provide educational support, and set up a telescope for public use.
National Museum of the United States Air Force
The National Museum of the United States Air Force will be the premier location in southeast Ohio to see the total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024. The museum will offer free educational activities/stations indoors on the size of the solar system, the power of the sun (solar/heat), the effects of shade (solar panels, Vernier energy sensors, resistor boards), the effects of ultraviolet rays (sun-sensitive paper for solar), gyroscopes, the centripetal force and paper rockets. There will also be space-related demos on neutral buoyancy, orbit, rocket guidance, microgravity, telescopes, satellites and navigation. Read more
The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio, is the world’s largest military aviation museum. With free admission and parking, the museum features more than 350 aerospace vehicles and missiles and thousands of artifacts amid more than 19 acres of indoor exhibit space. Each year, thousands of visitors from around the world come to the museum.
Perot Museum of Nature and Science
The Perot Museum of Nature and Science will collaborate with the Carnegie Institution for Science to provide bilingual astronomy education leading up to the great North American eclipse. The two organizations will partner with local social service organizations that serve under-resourced communities to reach almost 1 million individuals during the spring of 2024. Perot Museum and Carnegie scientists will share the intricacies of large-scale, modern-day astronomy and the extraordinary history of total solar eclipses with on- and off-site audiences. Eclipse outreach will highlight eye safety, and the museum will distribute approximately 1 million eclipse glasses free of charge.
Portage Lakes State Park
Portage Lakes State Park will host interactive, family-friendly solar eclipse programs from April 6 to 8, featuring free activities such as evening nature walks, nocturnal animal demonstrations, STEM projects, constellation identification, educational sessions with local partners, and more. The park’s half-mile Planet Trail will take visitors through the galaxy and beyond with informational signs for all planets. Programming before the eclipse will highlight the many ways solar eclipses affect the environment and impact life on Earth. Portage Lakes State Park hopes all learners will ask questions, gather information and develop a hypothesis to put to the test during the eclipse.
Sci-Tech Discovery Center
Sci-Tech Discovery Center will hold a free public event on Monday, April 8, called “Total Eclipse of the Park” in Frisco, Texas, at the new Kaleidoscope Park. Guests will experience hands-on activities that teach about the science behind the eclipse and will learn about astronomy and space professionals throughout history. The event will also feature a sensory area, activity instructions in Spanish and ASL along with audio sign descriptions, and tactile models. Sci-Tech will also be partnering with urban and rural youth-serving organizations to provide hands-on activity kits and training around the eclipse.
Before the eclipse, Sci-Tech will prepare the community for safe viewing. This will include a public lecture on the science and cultural history of eclipses; hands-on family workshops on safe viewing; and the public display of two new exhibits. On April 8, the museum will be part of a local celebration and viewing event, with both projection and video telescopes for the public, as well as the distribution of safe viewing glasses. After the eclipse, the museum’s new exhibits will continue on display, and children will be encouraged to submit their eclipse-related artwork, with prizes awarded for three different age groups.
The Toledo Zoo’s goal for total eclipse 2024 programming is to foster our mission — enjoy, inspire, educate and act — and to encourage zoo visitors to explore the science around them. All activities during the event will be free. The main activity will be the zoo’s inquiry-based exploration of animal behavior during the eclipse. Using specially developed ethograms and data collected in the days leading up to the eclipse, the zoo will have visitors participate in data collection through predictions, observations and possibly conclusions about how animals will react to the eclipse. The event will be family-friendly with entertainment and animal engagement.
Seneca Park Zoo
Seneca Park Zoo will run eclipse programming from April 1 through eclipse day, April 8. All events and activities will be included with zoo admission. Activities will include the distribution of eclipse glasses and on-site stations run by zoo naturalists and interpretation volunteers that offer guests the opportunity to learn more about the eclipse and build pinhole cameras. Virtual programming will include presentations from Seneca Park Zoo conservation partners Polar Bears International and Snow Leopard Trust, presented by field scientists and animal behavior experts on topics related to nocturnal animal behavior and migration during the long Arctic days and nights.
Science Play-Space Initiative
The Science Center
The Science Center in Carbondale, Illinois, is excited to present custom programming related to the eclipse. The center will host a party featuring multiple stations of hands-on eclipse- and space-themed activities, punch cards, snacks, and prizes. The center will also attend the two-day Southern Illinois University CASTE event for the community. The center is proud to offer schools and other organizations free outreach and field trips featuring a custom eclipse program. The Science Center hopes to foster a lifelong excitement for learning.
The Wild Center
In celebration of the Adirondacks’ first-ever total solar eclipse, the Wild Center invites visitors to a one-of-a-kind experience for this once-in-a-lifetime event. Join the Wild Center in Tupper Lake, New York, beginning Friday, April 5, 2024, for a three-day celebration with fun and engaging workshops, interactive events, and demonstrations by the Cornell Museum of Glass hot shop, all leading up to the big event on April 8. Sample food from regional food trucks, get a specially designed “hand poke” tattoo, and take a free shuttle to all the events and viewing opportunities happening around town.
Trautman Nature Center at Maumee Bay State Park
The Trautman Nature Center at Maumee Bay State Park will host interactive, family-friendly solar eclipse programs from April 6 to 8, featuring free activities such as evening nature walks, nocturnal animal demonstrations, STEM projects, constellation identification, educational sessions with local partners and more. The nature center will offer many educational opportunities through its live animals, constellation mapping technology and history exhibits. Programming before the eclipse will highlight the many ways solar eclipses affect the environment and impact life on Earth. The Trautman Nature Center hopes all learners will ask questions, gather information and develop a hypothesis to put to the test during the eclipse.
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Westcott House will implement “Solar@Westcott,” a series of STEM activities for local and regional schools, including field trips and hands-on activities for students and professional development workshops for teachers. All the activities will be offered at no cost. The program will be facilitated at the Solar House, which was designed and built by the students at Norwich University (Vermont) for an international Solar Decathlon competition organized by the U.S. Department of Energy. Following the competition, this solar-powered home was donated to the organization to serve as a learning lab. Spring 2024 marks 10 years of the Solar House on our site, an anniversary that coincides with the 2024 solar eclipse.
WonderLab: Museum of Science, Health, and Technology
WonderLab will host a series of programs, events, maker workshops and educational opportunities around the April 8, 2024, total eclipse for the community of Bloomington, Indiana, and beyond. These events will teach the community why eclipses happen and about the relationships between the sun, Earth and moon, and will educate them on the multitude of safe ways to watch and experience a total eclipse. This will all culminate on April 8, 2024, with WonderLab hosting a street party with music, and with numerous ways to watch the eclipse, while WonderLab answers questions and keeps the community informed and safe.
Dobbs Park Nature Center
Terre Haute Parks and Recreation plans to deliver science-focused eclipse programming in parks across the city. The Dobbs Park Nature Center will host “Sun & Moon” classes based on the effects of the sun and moon phases. The Native American Museum will host an “American Eclipse Stories” program intended to highlight connections between Indigenous stories and natural science. This schedule of classes plus a speaker will culminate in the 2024 eclipse celebration. Resources will be available to the public so everyone will have the opportunity to safely experience the eclipse and learn about the science behind the Total Eclipse of the Haute.