A 1,000 watch solar eciplse at Museum of Aviation

More than a 1,000 people came out to the Museum of Aviation on Monday for a “hands-on solar eclipse experience” in the NASA Regional Educator Resource Center.

At the peak of the eclipse about 2:40 p.m., at 95 percent totality, the air was a little cooler because there was less solar radiation, said Jamie Cook, an engineer at Robins Air Force Base and museum volunteer.

Also, the sun cast a different image that was noticeable but hard to describe.

The event drew all sorts of reactions with many “oohs” and “aahs”— as people watched through free solar glasses provided by the museum.

Kiera Davis celebrated her 5th birthday at the event, which her mom, Kymber Davis thought was pretty cool. The girl’s 2 1/2-year-old sister, Kayleigh, was with them.

Mandi Bombard, who brought along her four children, was thrilled to get the solar glasses.

She didn’t preregister and arrived at 11:30 a.m. to line up for the glasses. First dibs went to those who preregistered.

“It’s a once in a lifetime kind of thing,” Bombard said. “It definitely will be for me.

“They may get another chance. I probably won’t — not without traveling somewhere,” she said.

More than 800 people preregistered for the free event, which included chalk shadows, sun dials, pinhole projections, face painting and food trucks, said Sara Koohang, public relations and marketing specialist for the Museum of Aviation Foundation.

James Lingard, 16, came with his family.

“It’s a big opportunity, and we didn’t want to miss it,” he said.

Natalie Gibbs was among those who preregistered. She came to create special memories with her children. She also wanted to sign up for some workshops.

The museum has a relationship with NASA in which online workshops are offered for “educators.” That can include anybody from public school teachers to homeschooling parents to Boy Scout leaders, said Melissa Spalding, the museum’s director of education.

For more information about the workshops, contact Clare Swinford at 478-222-7547, or cswinford@museumofaviation.org.

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