NASA representatives visit Hawkins Elementary

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Representatives from NASA visited Hawkins Elementary in Hattiesburg to teach kids how properly view the upcoming solar eclipse.

Nearly 200 Pine Belt kids participating in summer camps saw today's presentation on how to properly view a total solar eclipse by highlighting this summer's 2017 Eclipse Across America experience through the eyes of NASA.

Later this summer on August 21st, weather permitting, folks across the country will be able to see the solar eclipse that will cross America over the course of several hours.

"They eclipse event is a once in a generation event," NASA STEM Engagement Activity Manager Kelly Martin-Rivers said. "So they may not understand the  reasons behind the eclipse or how it happened but we want it not to be a scary event when it happens. But also understand the effects that it has not only to our atmosphere but on nature and the world around them."

This will be the first total solar eclipse visible to the continental United States in 38 years, and the next one won't happen until April 8th of 2024.

"The goal of the program is to get the community involved and knowledgeable about safe eclipse viewing, to raise awareness about Science, Technology, Engineering and Math and continuity of education through the summertime to avoid the summer slide," Martin-Rivers said.