High schoolers become eclipse experts

A Solar Eclipse Education Program at the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont will turn high school students into experts tasked with helping the large numbers of visitors sure to come for the cosmic event understand the science behind the spectacle.

The program will teach students about the eclipse and conservation issues while also providing leadership training and allowing them to serve as park docents during public eclipse events in the park.

A $7,000 grant from the First Tennessee Foundation will provide scholarships for underserved students from area high schools. The University of Tennessee is providing $5,000 of work to assess the outcomes of the project, while the Corporation for National and Community Service will contribute about $3,600 for additional outreach, curriculum development and administration. Other contributors include the National Park Service and NASA, which will provide outreach for the event.

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is in the path of totality for the solar eclipse Aug. 21. This will be the first total eclipse on the continental U.S. since 1979.

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