NASA Selects Scobee Education Center as Education Community Anchor
December 16, 2021
NASA has selected the Scobee Education Center to become an Informal Education Community Anchor. The new designation recognizes the Scobee Center as a local community resource that supports STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education.
As part of the designation, NASA will sponsor Fiesta del Sol, an educational project developed by the Scobee Education Center that will use two major solar eclipse events as a STEM learning tool.
By selecting the Scobee Education Center as a community resource and supporting the Fiesta del Sol project, NASA will help the center bring space exploration education to traditionally underserved areas and broaden student participation in STEM fields. NASA will share learning resources and opportunities with the center as well as provide funding to the project.
“The Scobee Education Center is proud that NASA has recognized and joined our efforts to support our community for these life-changing celestial events,” said Rick Varner, director of the center. “We are hopeful that the resources and activities we provide will be embraced by our partners and the educational community, so children and their families will safely view these solar events, remembering them for years to come.”
San Antonio will experience two spectacular eclipses about six months apart. The first will be an annular eclipse in October 2023, where the moon will cover the center of the sun leaving only the outer edges visible, creating a rim of sunlight around the moon.
It will be followed by a total solar eclipse that will be seen in much of San Antonio in April 2024.
To prepare for the two solar eclipses, the Scobee Education Center will work with teachers and Boy and Girl Scout leaders to provide workshops that will promote NASA and its mission. The center will also collaborate with local school districts to provide hands-on activities for Solar Studies Week. During the actual solar events, the center will host viewing parties for thousands of people and will provide special glasses to safely see the eclipses.
In addition, the center will host a total lunar eclipse viewing party on May 15, 2022.
This is the first time NASA has selected organizations as Informal Education Community Anchors. In all, 21 institutions were picked from 16 states to participate.