Families & the Community

What Schools Can Do With All Those Leftover Solar Eclipse Glasses

By Elizabeth Heubeck — April 11, 2024 1 min read
Myers Elementary School students watch the solar eclipse on April 8, 2024, in Grand Blanc, Mich.
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The total solar eclipse traveled across North America on April 8, creating lasting memories for countless school-aged children who caught a glimpse of the celestial event. But important lessons linked to the eclipse need not be over yet.

The next solar eclipse is set to take place on Oct. 2, 2024. It will pass through parts of southern Chile and southern Argentina, where multitudes of young would-be gazers may not have the resources to obtain glasses for safe viewing. But several organized efforts to donate gently used, safety-approved solar eclipse glasses are underway.

“It’s about bridging gaps, connecting people through a shared experience, and igniting a passion for the cosmos in young hearts,” stated Eclipse Glasses USA in a news release announcing its donation program.

Schools in the U.S. that shared the eclipse with their students, possess a surplus of the viewing specs, and want to teach lessons in recycling and sharing may want to get in on the action.

Here’s how.

How to donate eclipse glasses

Experts from the American Astronomical Society remind would-be donors to make sure glasses meet safety standards from approved suppliers before donating them. In addition, shared glasses should be scratch- and tear-free, without punctures or other damage that could compromise their safety.

Where to donate the glasses

From hyper-local grassroots efforts to well-coordinated national initiatives, various organizations are accepting donations of solar eclipse glasses. Here’s a partial list:

Eclipse Glasses USA sells ISO-certified eclipse glasses. Founded by educators-turned-small business owners, it’s collecting the glasses for kids in underserved communities around the globe. Interested donators can request instructions by emailing info@eclipse23.com.

Astronomers Without Borders, based in Calabasas, Calif., aims to “build and cultivate community through astronomy.” It has curated this list of local drop-offs around the country accepting donated eclipse glasses.

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