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Solar Eclipse Makerspace Event at WKCTC April 19

WKCTC MEDIA RELEASE - PADUCAH, KY (03/28/2017) The first total solar eclipse visible in the continental United States within the lasts 38 years will be on August 21, 2017. To prepare for the big event, West Kentucky Community and Technical College is offering a Makerspace event in April and is preparing its eclipse party.

WKCTC's Makerspace event, which is free and open to the public, will be held April 19 from 5 - 7 p.m. in the college's Matheson Library.

A Makerspace is place in which people with shared interests, especially in computing or technology, can gather to work on projects while sharing ideas, equipment and knowledge.

During the two-hour event, Bill Kunnecke, WKCTC's program director of the science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) initiative, will demonstrate how to use a 3-D printer to create designs in a 10-minute "3-D Printer Nuts & Bolts: Makerbot Style," presentation. Attendees will have a chance to win one of Kunnecke's 3-D creations. Kunnecke will also invite participants to experience several different levels of educational robotics using LEGO and Arduino-based systems.

Challenger Learning Center at Paducah director Mellisa Duncan will demonstrate what happens when Mentos candy is put in a Coke. She will also share information about the upcoming solar eclipse and have star maps and star rocket activities. Attendees can create roll rockets, shape shifters, space sand art, and build Lego space creatures or vehicles.

Matheson Library staff will read Captain Invincible and the Space Shapes as well as share websites and books available about an eclipse.

Pizza, inspired by Toy Story's Pizza Planet, will be served along with mini moon pies, Milky War bars, a rocket fuel drink, and perhaps cheese from the moon.

A total solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun, thereby totally obscuring the image of the Sun for a viewer on Earth.

The totality of the solar eclipse on August 21 will last just over two minutes in Paducah. WKCTC is planning its Night at Noon eclipse party on the big day. The event will be a street fair party with vendors, music, games, and a giveaway of an Xbox 1 and game. Kentucky's only astronaut Colonel Terry Wilcutt will also be at WKCTC for the eclipse party and will visit and sign autographs for the attendees. WKCTC will also provide free solar eclipse viewing glasses. For more information, visits nightatnoon.org.