ISU Extension offers solar eclipse day camp

     Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Jones County is joining over 75 ISU Extension and Outreach county offices and partner organizations to provide high-quality STEM education opportunities to youth for the upcoming solar eclipse.

     On Monday, Aug. 21, at around 1 p.m., every county in Iowa will be able to experience the solar eclipse. This is an historic event that young people all around Iowa can be a part of while learning through hands-on activities, thanks to this program and its partners.

     The Iowa 4-H Youth Development program has partnered with the Iowa Space Grants Consortium to provide curriculum, training, and materials for educational workshops for 2,000 young people in grades fourth through sixth.

     “The Iowa Space Grants Consortium is very excited to partner with 4-H on this truly unique opportunity,” said Jay Staker, associate director of the Iowa Space Grants Consortium. “The Solar Eclipse Day Camp is a great way to get children from all over Iowa interested in science and space.”

     In Jones County, youth in grades fourth through sixth will participate in a variety of educational activities themed for this historic event such as learning how eclipses work and making viewers for safe eclipse viewing. Activities also feature special speakers via technology to feature STEM career opportunities.

     “We are excited to be a part of this state-wide program,” said Monica Gray, ISU Extension and Outreach Jones County Youth Program coordinator. “We want to inspire young people’s enthusiasm through engaging learning activities.”

     Staker added, “Our hope is that this eclipse and day camp using NASA educational resources can be used to inspire future scientists and engineers as they learn more about our planet and solar system.”

     There is no cost to participate in the solar eclipse day camp, which runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Youth Development Center. Youth must be registered by Aug. 17. Camp will be held at the Youth Development Center at the fairgrounds. Jones County Extension and Outreach will provide snacks and drinks. Each participant needs to bring a sack lunch. Call 319-465-3224 or e-mail to register.

     Over 75 workshops are currently planned. Iowa 4-H is participating with local youth organizations, museums, conservation boards and libraries to offer this interactive experience for youth around the state.

     To follow all of the solar eclipse day camps on social media, follow the hashtag #Ia4HSolar on Aug. 21.

     To learn more about 4-H in Jones County, please contact Gray at


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