Skip to Main Content

Eclipse Resources for 2024: Program Ideas

Resources for libraries and other organizations in preparation for the total solar eclipse happening in our region on April 8, 2024.

Solar Eclipse Activities from STARnet

Over two dozen eclipse-related activities put together by STARnet (Science Technology Activities & Resources for libraries) as part of the STEM Activity Clearinghouse.  You can filter by activity time, age, associated costs, and difficulty level.  

The activities range from chalk-based drawings on black construction paper to solar ovens out of pizza boxes. 


Some highlighted ideas:

Build a pinhole projector
Pre or post eclipse this craft and lesson covers the same concepts/structure as using an eclipse viewer while being safer than patrons making their own eclipse viewing device. 
Learn how to alter a box to make it reflect the world like a camera!
For older teens, they can make a fully functional pin hole camera that will produce prints on photo paper. 
Make a mini-planetarium
Using a cardboard tube, plastic, and a flashlight, make mini planetariums!
This website also has linked printables about constellations and stars, besides links to more space activities. 

The 2019 Summer Reading Program was "A Universe of Stories," based on the theme of space.  Do you have leftover crafts and tchotchkes from that summer? Here are some ideas with a broad space theme:
* Taste test astronaut food
* Host a spacey speaker, like an astronaut or NASA engineer
* Any moon, sun or earth crafts from your repertoire
Harness the artistic power of the sun with cyanotype
Use sun print paper or make your own by processing the paper in advance in cyanotype solution. 
Lay objects on top of the paper like leaves, flowers, pinecones, etc. and leave it in the sun for several minutes.
Watch as the paper turns a beautiful blue and the objects have left an imprint on the paper!
Space Cookies
Create half-moon cookies using frosting, sprinkles and more.  Mention they were invented nearby in Utica!  
Buy a few bags of Oreos or generic Oreos) and have each child recreate the eclipse, like so.
Citizen Science Opportunities
Participate as a group in things like SoundScapes and SunSketcher.  You can prepare handouts ahead of the solar eclipse to get patrons ready for participation.

Planning Tips

What will it be like?  Check out this librarian's account from 2017: Lessons from Totality: Learning from the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse | Programming Librarian

Activity Ideas for Kids

Time Capsule

Consider building a time capsule to commemorate the 2024 eclipse. The next full solar eclipse in New York State won't be until 2079!   See instructions for a DIY time capsule here: Do-It-Yourself Time Capsules | Total Solar Eclipse 2017 (

Pinhole Projector

Make a pinhole projector out of a cereal box or pizza box!  See some full instructions here.

New York Ideas

This webinar gets into the different ways your library might approach programming around the eclipse, ranging from simple displays and education to supplement the eclipse glasses, to full blown eclipse viewing events on April 8th. Programming ideas and considerations are included for inspiration!

Eclipse Viewing Made Simple

A Guide for Public Libraries and Their Communities

Pinterest Board for Eclipse Activities

Shopping List Ideas

Citizen Science through the GLOBE Observer App


Many thanks to other librarians around the world for their work!  Special thanks to Mary-Carol Lindbloom of SCRLC, Katie St. Laurent of the North Country Library System, and Dania Souid of Baldwinsville Public Library.

This project is administered by the South Central Regional Library Council.