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This section of the web site (so far only one page) is being set up to provide a place to share information about the total eclipse of the sun which will occur next month on Aug 21.  Information suitable for inclusion can be sent to: brullr@tmpmarian.org. 

We'll begin with two letters from NSTA Informal Science Director Dennis Schatz.

Thank you,

Randy Brull

KATS Webmaster

Summer 2017








Please consider helping your local library in this effort to inform the public. You can find a map showing libraries near you that are involved in distributing glasses at http://www.starnetlibraries.org/. Suggestions for how your students can be Eclipse Outreach Agents to assist libraries, your school and other community groups are in the March issues of Science Scope and The Science Teacher.  If you are planning to go see the total eclipse, you can still be a hero for your librarian in the months before the eclipse.


You may also want to let libraries know about the newest NSTA Kids Press book, When the Sun Goes Dark, for 8 to 13 year olds. It’s in the form of a story, but encourages families to do activities with simple home materials to understand what causes eclipses and how to view them safely.


Thanks for considering being a resource to your local library.


Dennis Schatz and Andrew Fraknoi



"Work hard to find something that fascinates you. When you find it you will know your lifework" -- Richard Feynman


Dennis Schatz

Senior Advisor, Pacific Science Center

Field Editor, Connected Science Learning, an online journal of the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) and the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC)

Informal Science Director, NSTA Board of Directors

P (206) 218-8946 | F (206) 443-3631 | schatz@pacsci.org | www.dennisschatz.org

Free Forum at Cosmophere on Aug 19 Includes Eclipse Segment

Total Eclipse, Cassini and Mars water (or lack of) to be subject of Galaxy Forum

The free 2017 Galaxy Forum will  be held at the Cosmosphere  in Hutchinson on Saturday, August 19, 2017, from 1-3 p.m.

Purpose:  To provide teachers with cutting edge information on three topics that have immediacy in the science world in a way that they can take back to students.



Teachers will:

1.     Be able to take back to their classrooms and students an enhanced knowledge of the total solar eclipse taking place that following Monday (Aug. 21 ).

2.     Have access to first-hand information about  Cassini’s final  mission (occurring September 15 ) from the NASA-JPL  expert in charge of the “Grand Finale”.

3.     Learn about the latest findings concerning the past presence of water on Mars and its implications for habitability.

4.     Take back educational materials to the classroom.


Teachers can correlate with state science standards. Certificates of attendance will be available. Q and A after each presentation. Open to both students and teachers. Geared towards middle school on up.


The Speakers and Topics:



Dean Stramel, professor of chemistry at Fort Hays State University—“The 2017 Total Solar Eclipse:  What, When, Where, Why?” As a primer on this amazing event, Stramel, will look into why this is such a big deal that people travel all over the globe to see it.  What is the science behind it? What does it teach us? What are the logistics to watching it? Eclipse glasses included in materials packet.


Todd Barber, NASA-JPL lead propulsion engineer on the Cassini mission since 2002—“Lord of the Rings—the Cassini Mission to Saturn”. Cassini has orbited Saturn for 13 years. In its aptly named “Grand Finale” Cassini will swoop between Saturn and its innermost ring ending in the probe’s crash into Saturn on September 15, 2017.  What has Cassini revealed over the years? What kind of close-ups, what kind of details are expected? What do we hope to learn from this final mission? Barber is a Wichita native and Southeast High graduate.


Sarah Lamm, Kansas State University--—“Mars:  Through the Eyes (and Lasers) of Curiosity”  KSU senior Lamm will talk about her two summers spent at Los Alamos National Laboratory working with data from Curiosity’s ChemCam instrument.( It’s the part that looks like the head and eye of the rover). The Colby native has been studying the presence of manganese, an indicator of the past presence of abundant liquid water. On Earth abundances of manganese are closely associated with microbes and the rise of oxygen in the atmosphere. Thus, manganese has important implications for the future habitability of Mars.


The Ad Astra Kansas Foundation is a non-profit organization focused on promoting science in Kansas, especially the space sciences. This FREE educational event is sponsored by the Ad Astra Kansas Foundation to enrich science education in Kansas.

Find more information on this forum go to www.adastra-ks.org  This event is free of charge.  Space is limited.  To reserve seating and to help with count for materials preparation, send name, school and number attending to jeanettesteinert@att.net.


Also, feel free to forward any questions to the above e-mail address.



KATS email:   kats.org1967@gmail.com

Payments and invoices should be sent to:

KATS Treasurer

P.O. Box 780899

Wichita KS 67278

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