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Aug. 21: Mark Your Calendars for the Great Eclipse!
4/11/2017 1:00:00 AM
By: Sarah Haas, Communications Director

(PARK HILLS) – The last time an eclipse passed over the land that would be Mineral Area College, the “global economy” was run by the House of Medici, Columbus hadn’t yet discovered America, and a squirrel could jump from one tree to another, all the way across the land that was to become Missouri.

Since 1442, there have been revolutions in technology and transportation, and now Southeast Missouri is preparing to welcome hundreds of world travelers for the Total Solar Eclipse, a 2-minute, 18-second celestial happening on Aug. 21 with a partial eclipse beginning about 11:52 a.m. and ending at about 2:44 p.m.

Mineral Area College’s Eclipse Committee has joined the St. Louis Eclipse 2017 Task Force, which has been meeting since 2014 in anticipation of the solar event. The community college’s plans for Aug. 21 have so far included adjusting the first day of the fall semester, which would have coincided with the eclipse. Fall semester will now begin with classes scheduled for 4 p.m. and later on Aug. 21. The remainder of the first week of fall semester should not be disrupted.

The college plans to begin the eclipse celebration at 10 a.m. on Aug. 21, with instructed viewing at the peak of the eclipse, 1:16-1:19 p.m. The event is expected to wrap up by 2:30 p.m. All MAC employees will report to work that day and MAC students and all community members are welcome to attend the festivities as well. For more information about MAC’s eclipse celebration, contact Dr. Chad Follis, (573) 518-2323 or cfollis@mineralarea.edu.

Membership to the St. Louis Task Force has also given the college an opportunity to buy eclipse glasses, which are available in the Park Hills campus’s bookstore (while supplies last).

This summer, the college is encouraging teachers from area school districts to attend the St. Louis Eclipse Task Force’s Solar Eclipse Expo, Saturday, June 17, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at Greensfelder Recreational Complex at Queeny Park, 550 Weidman Rd. in Ballwin. Local and national eclipse experts will be offering lectures, exhibits will be on display from cities, schools, libraries, businesses depicting their plans for eclipse day.

Dr. Chad Follis, MAC horticulture instructor and organizer of the MAC eclipse effort, said school districts from out of the viewing area are welcome to bring buses or groups of students aged 15 and up to the Park Hills campus for viewing.

“We plan on having several activities that day,” he said.

A special viewing area dedicated to scientists and professionals is being planned for the MAC baseball field. The student organization Psi Beta will have snacks during the viewing, and the archery club will have a “Shoot for the Moon” contest. Other clubs and organizations are making plans, too.

“We’re open to ideas from the community, if they’re looking to celebrate the eclipse with us,” Follis said. “We’re approaching it from a festive, but educational, angle.”

Related Link: http://www.missourieclipse2017.com/index.php/the-facts
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