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Northern Vermont is in the path of totality for a rare total solar eclipse on Monday, April 8.

Why a solar eclipse is special

In two new episodes of "Science & Stories" from ECHO, Youth Programs Manager Elizabeth Nuckols explores how eclipses happen and what makes shadows.

A solar eclipse is a special event that happens when the moon moves in front of the sun and casts its shadow onto the earth. On April 8, 2024, there will be a total solar eclipse. Depending on where you are, you can watch as the day turns to night for a few amazing minutes. But, how does our small moon completely block the big, big sun? Join Elizabeth for some hands-on, thumbs-up investigations as we learn more about the solar eclipse and how to safely watch it.

Featured book: Someone is Eating the Sun by Ruth Sonneborn. Illustrated by Eric Gurney. Published by Random House Books for Young readers, First Edition, September 12, 1974.

What makes a shadow?

Shadows are tricky! Sometimes you see them and sometimes you don’t. What is going on? Investigate together with Elizabeth to figure out what makes a shadow and make a few tricky shadows of your own.

Featured book: Bear Shadow, written and illustrated by Frank Asch. Reissue edition, Monnbear’s Shadow, published by Aladdin, August 19, 2014.

About this series

In "Science & Stories," join Elizabeth, ECHO’s youth programs manager, who demonstrates fun science and nature topics for kiddos. Vermont Public is proud to partner with ECHO to share this content and related lesson plans to teachers. Families can watch "Science & Stories" on ECHO's YouTube channel, or catch episodes on Vermont Public's main TV channel Sunday mornings at 7 a.m.

Eclipse resources for educators

PreK/K-2 - The Eclipse Learning Guide brings playful STEAM connections from ECHO’s Science and Stories video series along with social-emotional considerations, and an Eclipse tag game. The activity also includes an easy to use and click-ready printable model of the Earth, Moon and Sun to reenact the Eclipse at home.

Grades 3-5 - This Eclipse Learning Guide offers pre-teaching opportunities using podcasts and video for pre-teaching. Activities include social-emotional connections and a model activity made to use at home or the classroom representing the distance between the Earth, Moon and Sun during totality.

Grades 6-12 - This Lesson Guide will help older students explore and understand the Eclipse by creating a model of the titled lunar orbit and ecliptic-plane. This activity model uses everyday objects and connections to documentaries by Vermont Public, PBS and NOVA to describe the unique nature of this historic event.

Video - Watch Vermont Public's new half-hour TV special, "Path of Totality," and see two new eclipse-related episodes of ECHO's "Science & Stories" series.

Vermont Public has curated PBS LearningMedia resources for Vermont educators of all age bands at And look for the But Why: Adventures! Northeast Nature series, made for monthly classroom use throughout the year.

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