photography tony gherardini / jacob king / ben mikesell / lee mwangi / marcus painton / joshua russell

If you were in the path of totality, you understand the mania behind the Great American Eclipse on Aug. 21. If you weren’t, by now, you’ve heard. At Southeast, we took a once-in-a-lifetime chance to celebrate this phenomenon as the opportunity to showcase our academics. It was a year-long planning endeavor, culminating in more than 3,000 K-12 students visiting campus, guest physicists, and plenty of hands-on student activities.

Alumna Kaci Heins of Space Center Houston led a group of local area and University educators launching two high-altitude weather balloons filled with experiments. The balloons reached 105,000 feet before falling back to earth.

Southeast physics students led by Dr. Peggy Hill, professor of physics, and Dr. Mike Rodgers, professor of chemistry, participated in the Citizen CATE project as one of 70 citizen-astronomer groups located along the path of totality to take images and video of the changes that happen in the inner solar corona.

Hill also gave a presentation with professor of physics and astronomy and director of the Planetarium and Observatory at Kutztown University, Dr. Phill Reed. Reed, along with local astrophotographer Dennis Vollink, brought several telescopes for Southeast students and visiting schools to view the event.

Department of Mass Media students webcasted the day’s events.

Holland School of Visual & Performing Arts students gave an artistic view of the eclipse at the River Campus with music, theatre, dancing and art activities.

The University Speakers Series kicked off that evening with worldwide science icon Dr. Michio Kaku sharing his predictions for how science will impact business, the economy and medicine in the next 20 years.



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