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The total solar eclipse is front and center at the latest SOI Community Tour

A crowd seated at the Discover Stage inside the Great Lakes Science Center for the Sound of Ideas Community Tour.
Matt Crow
Ideastream Public Media
Guests filled the Great Lakes Science Center to learn about the total solar eclipse.

The Sound of Ideas Community Tour is a chance to discuss a pressing issue with a particular community across Northeast Ohio. But the latest stop on the community tour focused on something bigger than the region and even the state.

It's an event that could impact more than 32 million Americans: the April 8 total solar eclipse. The eclipse's path of totality will stretch from Texas to Maine, covering cities like Dallas, Little Rock, Indianapolis, as well as Cleveland and Akron.

It’s a once-in-a-lifetime celestial event. The last total solar eclipse to hit pass over Ohio was 1806, and the next one will be in 2099.

Monday, on the "Sound of Ideas," we'll bring you the broadcast of the latest community tour, which recently took place in front of a live audience at the Great Lakes Science Center.

The first half of the conversation focused on the science of the eclipse and why it's such a big deal. Representatives from area museums discussed their big plans for April 8, and how to safely view the eclipse.

Then the discussion shifted to how the eclipse can inspire people to become more interested in science and potentially influence young people to go into STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) fields.

Great Lakes Science Center Total Eclipse Fest
Cleveland Museum of Natural History Eclipse Watch Party
NASA - 2024 Total Solar Eclipse
Ohio Department of Natural Resources - Solar Eclipse 2024

- Kirsten Ellenbogen, President and CEO, Great Lakes Science Center
- Destiny Thomas, Astronomer, Cleveland Museum of Natural History 
- Mary Mertz, Director, Ohio Department of Natural Resources  
- Kat Dunlap, Manager of Education, Akron Children’s Museum
- Janna Mino, Director of Fellowships in Science, Research, and Engineering, Hathaway Brown
- Lancert Foster, Aerospace Engineer, NASA Glenn Research Center

Drew Maziasz is a coordinating producer for the "Sound of Ideas" and also serves as the show’s technical producer.