Hundreds of Youngsters Attend Eclipse Viewing Party in St. Paul

August 21, 2017 09:48 PM

It was the first total, coast-to-coast, solar eclipse in 99 years, and kids around the metro spent their day watching it.

Minnesota Public Radio's Brains On podcast, a science podcast for "kids and curious adults," put on the event with host Molly Bloom.


"It looks kind of like a crescent moon but it's a lot brighter, and orange," said one boy.

"It's the only thing you can see with the glasses, because everything else is black," said another.

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The eclipse excitement didn't need to build; it was there the moment many youngsters arrived at the Minnesota Public Radio headquarters in St. Paul, some with homemade devices in hand.

"This is a projector, so if you hold it at the right angle this should project it, if you don't have solar glasses," an excited 7-year-old boy said.

The kids shared facts and lessons.

"So the eclipse is kind of like a weird thing that happens during most peoples lives," one St. Paul girl said.

"This is so great, and there's gonna be another one in seven years," added an 11-year-old boy.

They described the phenomenon in their language, often using food as a reference.

PHOTOS: Solar Eclipse Around the Nation

"It looks like a cookie that got bit into," said 7-year-old Aryanna, of Maplewood. "It's so small, like a cookie floating in the sky."

MPR's Brains On host, Molly Bloom, said the event was a great connector for students and science.

"I think an event like this really opens the door to talk about all sorts of cool science stuff," Bloom said. "Astronomy, biology and what happens to your eyes, we can talk about plants and animals."

As the moon moved into position, unfortunately so did the clouds.

But some thought it made the viewing that much more spectacular.

"I think because it was cloudy it was a little bit better, because people were more excited when they could actually see it," one young girl said. 

As peak Minnesota time neared at 1:06 p.m., clouds were floating by, providing an occasional glimpse for the hundreds watching atop MPR's observation deck.

One family at the event said they took off for Missouri to watch the eclipse, but got to Iowa and turned back after learning the forecast may not cooperate there.

They were happy they came back home to St. Paul.


Jessica Miles

Copyright 2018 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company


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