28 June, 2019
The ALMA Observatory handed out solar eclipse glasses to students and teachers in San Pedro de Atacama’s elementary and high school and the Toconao Educational Complex, ensuring that they are ready to safely view the solar eclipse on July 2.
“I really like the glasses because it lets us see how weird eclipses are, when the Sun and Moon actually come together and hug each other,” said Sofía Acevedo, 4th grade student at School E-26 in San Pedro de Atacama. She and 930 other students and 50 teachers received new glasses from ALMA.
In a gesture of appreciation, the schoolchildren reenacted an allegory of the creation of the Sun and the Moon, which included a specific explanation about what produces an eclipse. “The kids are really motivated with the eclipse,” said Gabriela Carriel, elementary school teacher at E-26, who will be joining other teachers at the school on the day of the eclipse to share experiments they learned at a workshop held at ALMA a few weeks ago.
“We want all children and young people who live near the ALMA Observatory to enjoy and learn from this unique phenomenon. Even those with visual disabilities,” said Education & Public Outreach Officer, Valeria Foncea, during her visit to the Toconao Educational Complex. In addition to providing glasses to over 300 members of the school community, ALMA also handed out the following special materials designed for blind people, specifically for one of its students:
In addition to its role as neighbor in the community of San Pedro de Atacama, ALMA also handed out glasses to students in Antofagasta, Coquimbo, Buin and San Miguel.
ALMA will also be represented during this eclipse through activities offered by the Santiago Planetarium with ALMA Sounds’, where DJ School Chile will transform sounds from space and interpret them as musical compositions for the eclipse party.
Finally, as part of an ALMA-Conicyt-funded project to bring astronomic investigation to schoolchildren with visual disabilities, students from the Astronomy Club of the Santa Lucía School for the Blind will share inclusive activities with their classmates on the day of the Solar Eclipse, with the support of Universidad Diego Portales.