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Explore Extraordinary Space at Manitowoc Public Library!

The following article was written by Manitowoc Public Library Youth Services Librarian Betty Schwede and Youth Services Associate Lynn Christiansen.

Were you aware that there will be a total solar eclipse on April 8th? The last time a total solar eclipse passed across the United States was 2017.  To help you prepare, the Manitowoc Public Library has some amazing opportunities this month to learn about space, eclipses and star gazing. Eyes on the Skies is a program for older kids, teens and adults on March 14th at 6:30 p.m. Eclipse Extravaganza is a Family Activity Night on March 26th at 6:30 p.m. geared toward early elementary ages. The Space science kit is available for check out from the toy library in the children’s department. Eclipse viewing glasses will be available to make sure you can view the eclipse safely.

If you want to learn more about astronomy but don’t know where to start, be sure to come to the library March 14th. Randy Griffin from the Sheboygan Astronomical Society will discuss eclipses and astronomy in general. He will bring a telescope or two as well. This is the time to learn how to set up a telescope of your own or the one in the Space Kit available for check out from the library. Free eclipse viewing glasses will be available to attendees.

March 26th’s Eclipse Extravaganza Family Activity Night will provide some out of this world knowledge and fun. Dr. William Dirienzo, Associate Professor of Natural and Applied Sciences at UW-Green Bay, will provide information about the different kinds of eclipses. Participants will be able to partake in crafts such as making a sundial, creating a case to store their eclipse glasses, and making an eclipse-inspired chalk drawing. There will also be some space-related games for families to play. All attendees will be given a pair of eclipse viewing glasses, as well as safe viewing instructions.

The Manitowoc Public Library received a grant from the Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineers to assemble science kits available to the public for check out. Five kits were added to the Toy Library on Bird Watching, the Human Body, Micro-science, Weather, and Space. They include books and equipment to explore the given topics. The Space kit has a telescope and star chart for star gazing as well as in-depth books. It’s a way to try out astronomy and see if it is something you would like to pursue further.

Even if you can’t make it to any of the fabulous events, be sure to pick up eclipse viewing glasses before April 8th so you can safely view the eclipse. Glasses will be available with additional activities for adults and kids.  They will be at the adult service desk starting March 25th and the youth service desk March 26th while supplies last.

As an added bonus, we will hold a Solar Eclipse Watch Party in the library’s Idea Box on Monday April 8th from 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm. Drop in any time to watch NASA’s live stream feed of this historic event.

Don’t miss the total eclipse this April! The next total eclipse visible throughout the United States isn’t until 2044. The Manitowoc Public Library is ready this month with extraordinary eclipse events. Eyes on the Skies is  for older kids, teens and adults on March 14th at 6:30 p.m. Eclipse Extravaganza is a Family Activity Night on March 26th at 6:30 geared toward early elementary ages.


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