The 20th Annual Dick Smyser Community Lecture Series opens on Thursday, May 18, and it will feature Chap Percival, a science educator from Sarasota, Florida.
Percival will talk about the total solar eclipse that will occur on August 21. The title of his presentation is “Go See the Eclipse.”
This event is co-sponsored by the Oak Ridge Isochronous Observation Network (ORION), the National Park Sevice (NPS), and Friends of ORNL (FORNL), a press release said.
It’s free of charge, and it will be held at the American Museum of Science and Energy, which is at 300 South Tulane Avenue in Oak Ridge. A reception will be held in the museum lobby starting at 5:30 p.m. (snacks will be served), and the lecture will start at 6 p.m. in the museum auditorium.
“This talk should be of interest to students and the general public,” the press release said.
Percival is a lifelong educator. He lives in Sarasota, Florida. He has a BA in mathematics and physics from Taylor University, an MAT in planetarium education from Michigan State University, and an MEd in instructional technology from the University of Virginia, the press release said.
Percival has been involved in astronomy education since 1969 as a classroom teacher, club sponsor, and planetarium director. He has published articles for local newspapers and has been interviewed on radio. He has volunteered with the National Park Service as a sky interpreter. He also gave an astronomy talk at the Grand Canyon Star Party and has led groups to view five different total solar eclipses.
Percival began teaching astronomy at Pine View School in Osprey, Florida, one of the top high schools in the nation, in 1995.
“He has a passion for sharing his knowledge of things in the sky that amaze, astound, and awe him,” the press release said. “He wants everyone to view the August 21, 2017, total solar eclipse and view it safely and knowledgeably.”
Percival’s presentation will cover several aspects of the eclipse. He will start with a brief review of what an eclipse is and will describe what is so special about this eclipse. He will give valuable advice on how to safely view the eclipse, and logistics to get the most out of the eclipse. Finally, he will talk about the weather factor and what might interfere with getting a good view of the eclipse, the press release said.
The co-sponsoring organizations also have activities planned to make viewing the eclipse more enjoyable. David Fields, president of ORION and director of the Tamke-Allen Observatory at Roane State will describe their capabilities. Ranger Robbie Meyer of the National Park Service will describe to the audience the NPS’ plans for viewing the eclipse in the Obed Wild and Scenic River, the Manhattan Project National Historical Park, and the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area.
“Please join us for this entertaining and enjoyable presentation,” the press release said.
FORNL is an organization formed to facilitate and maintain a beneficial association of those who have an interest in ORNL (Oak Ridge National Laboratory). FORNL provides a mechanism for members to keep in touch with co-workers, retirees, and current ORNL activities by providing the community at large with presentations and events. More information can be found on the FORNL website at http://www.fornl.info.
ORION is an amateur science and astronomy club centered in Oak Ridge that was founded in April 1974 by a group of scientists at the United States Department of Energy facilities in Oak Ridge. Its purpose is to promote learning and inquiry throughout the cities of Oak Ridge and Knoxville, and the counties of Anderson, Knox, and Roane. Topics covered include physics, solar system astronomy, and interstellar.
The National Park Service is an agency of the United States federal government that manages all U.S. national parks, many American national monuments, and other conservation and historical properties with various title designations. Of immediate interest in our area, the National Park Service manages the Obed Wild and Scenic River, the Manhattan Project National Historical Park, and the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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