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Go See the Eclipse by Chap Percival

The 20th Annual Dick Smyser Community Lecture Series opens on Thursday, May 18, featuring Mr. Chap Percival, a science educator from Sarasota, Florida. Mr. 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). The event is free of charge and will be held at the American Museum of Science and Energy, 300 S. Tulane Avenue, Oak Ridge, Tennessee. A reception will be held in the museum lobby starting at 5:30 p.m. (snacks will be served), and the lecture starts at 6:00 p.m. in the museum auditorium. This talk should be of interest to students and the general public.

Chap 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.

Chap 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.

Chap 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. He wants everyone to view the August 21, 2017 total solar eclipse and view it safely and knowledgeably.

Chap’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 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.

865-482-3348, 865-257-1506


300 S Tulane,
Oak Ridge, TN 37830
Phone: (865) 576-3200


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