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School of Education Event Offered Lessons in Eclipse Viewing [02/26/2024]


students posing in eclipse safety glasses

Baylor School of Education hosted hundreds of invited guests for SOEclipse Education, an educational event for Baylor students, staff, and faculty to prepare them to teach others, especially children, about the upcoming solar eclipse. Waco is in the direct path for optimal effect of the eclipse this spring.

Kylah Kuehl and Dr. Suzanne Nesmith

SOE’s Kylah Kuehl (left) and Dr. Suzanne Nesmith planned the SOEclipse Education event!

Dr. Suzanne Nesmith, associate dean for undergraduate education in the School of Education and associate professor in science education, planned the event to prepare Baylor student teachers and others to create appropriate lesson plans and present the subject matter to prekindergarten through high school students before the eclipse. The event on Feb. 8 at Baylor University’s Mark and Paula Hurd Welcome Center offered educational tips and lesson demonstrations for those who will teach and prepare children prior to the phenomenon on Monday, April 8.

“I am constantly asking people, especially teachers, ‘Are you ready?’” Nesmith said. “Are you ready for 4 minutes and 13 seconds of total darkness in the middle of the afternoon? Are your prepared? And are you ready to prepare others, especially young children?”

Invitees included all Baylor School of Education undergraduate teacher-education majors, who regularly teach in local schools. Baylor seniors teach all day four days a week in local schools, while most juniors spend four mornings a week in schools. Baylor students majoring in Deaf and Hard of Hearing Education, Music Education, and Physical Education were also invited to the SOEclipse Education event, in addition to students with a minor in Leadership Studies and residents of the LEAD Living-and-Learning Center, a residence hall partner of the School of Education. All graduate students in the School of Education were also invited. Invitees with children were encouraged to bring them.

The Program

Eclipse activity

With just a sticker on your thumb, you can help a child understand how the moon is blocking the sun to create the solar eclipse.

Attendees enjoyed getting photos at the eclipse photo booth. After a brief dinner, the educational program kicked off with a presentation from Alan Small, the STEM Programs Coordinator for the Mayborn Museum. Small has been giving presentations to local schools this year and collaborated with SOE faculty to develop new content lessons. Dr. Nesmith led the group in an activity with stickers to simulate how an eclipse works with just your thumb and a friend — an activity enjoyed by all ages in attendance. They also had the chance to punch out custom designs on index cards as a pinhole viewer to cast shadows of the eclipse on the ground. Hearts, stars, and names were popular designs.

The presenters also shared eye safety tips for the eclipse. According to Nesmith, “While it is true that viewing a solar eclipse without proper eye protection can cause retinal damage, it is completely safe to remove your glasses during totality. In fact, if you don’t remove your glasses during the time when the sun is completely covered and just the rays of the corona are visible, you will miss out on the brilliance and wonder of solar eclipse totality.”

SOE faculty who are subject-matter experts added to the presentation.

Faculty presenters included:

  • Gae Connally, Early-Childhood Literacy
  • Lisa Osborne, secondary English/Language Arts
  • Dr. Suzanne Nesmith, STEM education
  • Dr. Karon LeCompte, social studies
  • Dr. Lee Anne Brannon, English as a Second Language

Attendees received:

  • an eclipse T-shirt
  • an activity booklet created by Kayla Kuhl and Dr. Suzanne Nesmith of Baylor SOE*
  • a copy of “Solar Eclipse 2023-2024: The Complete Kids Guide to Great American Solar Eclipse Viewing” by Kathleen Honda
  • eclipse-viewing glasses
  • Mayborn Museum passes to view their exhibits.

*The Baylor SOE activity booklet is available for digital download at, along with other eclipse resources and education.

Event Photos:

Media Coverage:

Local television crews attended the event, and here are links to a couple reports:


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For more than 100 years, the School of Education has advanced Baylor’s mission across the globe while preparing students for a range of careers focused on education, leadership, and human development. With more than 60 full-time faculty members, the school’s growing research portfolio complements its long-standing commitment to excellence in teaching and student mentoring. Baylor’s undergraduate program in teacher education has earned national distinction for innovative partnerships with local schools that provide future teachers deep clinical preparation. Likewise, the School of Education’s graduate programs have attained national recognition for their exemplary preparation of research scholars, educational leaders, innovators, and clinicians. Visit to learn more.


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked Research 1 institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 20,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 90 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.

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