Harker Heights library receives tools from NASA to involve community in upcoming eclipses

Published: Oct. 4, 2023 at 12:56 PM CDT
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HARKER HEIGHTS, Texas (KWTX) - The Harker Heights Stewart C. Meyer Public Library is providing tools and learning opportunities for people to get the most out of the upcoming eclipses in Central Texas.

The program, NASA@ My Library, awarded the library with a grant that gives tools to enhance STEAM programs, accessible to both English-speaking and Spanish-speaking people in the area.

“We are basically using the two coming eclipse events as an opportunity to really look at science again...so that we can really work on STEAM, science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics programming and observation for our community,” Lisa Youngblood, the library director, said.

The Stewart C. Meyer Library is one of only 49 across the nation to receive this grant.

“It’s science equipment, books, also equipment so that we can become ‘citizen scientists’ and actually help our scientists as we are investigating how an eclipse or several eclipse events are changing our environment,” she said.

The annular eclipse will be Saturday, Oct. 14, when the library will be having a special event from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“Central Texas is not in the absolute...best view of the annual eclipse, but we certainly will be getting a view that’s still going to get us even more excited for the coming total eclipse,” Youngblood said.

Communities across Central Texas, including the library in Harker Heights, is preparing for the community’s involvement in the total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024, which will be visible across the region.

NASA also gave the library tools to observe and document certain sounds and temperatures ahead of the eclipse to see if it has any effects on the environment.

Youngblood said the library is excited to share these tools, including a sunspotter and even, soon, a telescope, with the community.

“This is an opportunity as we’re talking about the eclipse, it gives you like a moment to say, ‘Oh, that’s something unusual, that’s something new,’” she said. “Now, we’re going to be looking at the sciences in a totally different way.”

More information on upcoming eclipse activities can be found here.