NSTA Virtual Conference

The Total Solar Eclipse of 2017 - Are You and Your Students Ready for the Sky Event of the Decade?


Andrew Fraknoi Andrew Fraknoi
Andrew Fraknoi is the Chair of the Astronomy Department at Foothill College, and served for 14 years as the Executive Director of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, where he created a number of national projects in space-science education. He is the lead author of an introductory textbook on astronomy, which is being made available free of charge nationwide by OpenStax, with support from the Gates Foundation and other organizations. In addition, he is the author of a children’s book, Disney’s Wonderful World of Space, and his first science fiction story was published in the anthology Building Red: Mission Mars in 2015. He appears regularly on local and national radio explaining astronomical discoveries in everyday language. The International Astronomical Union has named Asteroid 4859 Asteroid Fraknoi to recognize his contributions to astronomy education and outreach.

Carolyn Hayes Carolyn Hayes
Dr. Carolyn Hayes is the retiring president of the National Science Teaching Association (NSTA). Hayes is a retired high school biology teacher from Greenwood, Indiana. She brings years of leadership and teaching experience to NSTA through her work as a classroom teacher, college professor, science coordinator, author, and science consultant. In addition to having taught high school science for nearly 30 years in Indiana, Hayes worked in various positions at several universities since 1976, including Franklin College, Purdue University, University of Indianapolis, and Indiana University. She also served as president of the Hoosier Association of Science Teachers, Inc. (HASTI) (1995–1996).

During her distinguished career, Hayes has received a number of honors and awards. Her accomplishments include receiving the STEM Conference Excellence in Science Education Award (2015), the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching, Secondary Science (2000), and the Radio Shack National Teacher Award (2000), just to name a few. Hayes earned a B.S. degree in biology from Indiana University in 1973, an M.S. degree in secondary education from Indiana University in 1976, and an Ed.D. in secondary education and biology from Indiana University in 2005.

Claire Raftery Claire Raftery
Dr. Claire Raftery is the Head of Education and Public Outreach (EPO) at the National Solar Observatory (NSO). Although she is based in Boulder, Colorado, she divides her time between there and Maui - where the NSO is building the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST) at the summit of Haleakalā. Claire is leading the NSO into a new era of education and outreach in the run up to DKIST's first light, which is expected in 2020.

Although always interested in science education, Claire had her first official EPO opportunities with the Multiverse Education group at UC Berkeley's Space Sciences Lab where she worked with Laura Peticolas and her team. Her duties at Multiverse covered everthing from teacher professional development, public outreach, international consultancy, and project management.

Claire received her Doctoral Degree from Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland where she began a researching the effects of solar flares and coronal mass ejections on the Sun's lower atmosphere. She spent some time working with the RHESSI X-ray satellite team at UC Berkeley before finding her path in science education.

In additon to her official roles, Claire is the American Astronomical Society’s Solar Physics Division education Chair and the American Geophysical Union's Space Physics and Aeronomy EPO committee secretary. In her spare time, she volunteers her time mentoring students, likes hiking, flying, and playing the bagpipes.

Dennis Schatz Dennis Schatz
Dennis Schatz was until recently the Senior Vice President for Strategic Programs at Pacific Science Center in Seattle, Washington. For four years, he served as a Program Director for in the Education and Human Resources Directorate at the National Science Foundation. He is also the author of 23 science books for children that have sold almost 2 million copies worldwide and have been translated into 23 languages. These include Astronomy Activity Book, published by Simon & Schuster (1991) and Stars and Planets, published by SmartLab (2004). He was a member of a five-person design team to develop the Earth and Space Science Disciplinary Core Ideas for the National Research Council, which led to the Framework for K-12 Science Education used to develop the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). A member of the National Academy of Science Teacher Advisory Committee, he is also on the Board of Directors of NSTA and has received both its Distinguished Informal Science Educator Award and its Distinguished Service to Science Education Award.


Written by Dennis Schatz and Andrew Fraknoi, Solar Science includes 45 activity-based learning experiences (with full background information) about the Sun, its motions in the sky, the space weather it causes, eclipses, seasons, the calendar, and more. In his featured review of the book in The Planetarian, veteran astronomy teacher Gary Tomlinson said: "This timely 350-page book, designed for educators, is jam-packed full of well-designed and supported classroom activities. Many...could be adapted for ... informal education. The authors are two of the most renowned and respected educators in the United States... This excellent book is a self-contained teacher's guide...that has done most of the work for you."

Registered participants may use promo code VCPRIN to purchase the print version of the NSTA Press book: Solar Science: Exploring Sunspots, Seasons, Eclipses, and More at a significant discounted price (31% off for NSTA members and 25% off for non-members); shipping costs are not included in this offer.

For more information contact webseminars@nsta.org