Story by Amy Turner, Contributing writer
Photo contributed by Brock Kirk/TheNews
On Monday, Aug. 21, the campus of Murray State along with the rest of the U.S. excitedly awaited the occurrence of the natural phenomenon of the Great American Eclipse and more than 1,000 glasses were ordered and handed out. Now that the event has come and gone, there are more than 1,000 pairs of the solar eclipse glasses floating around campus.
The College of Education and Human Services is collecting these solar eclipse glasses to donate to Astronomers Without Borders, an organization dedicated to sharing their passion of astronomy and the wonders of the Universe. Sept. 1 is the tentative deadline to donate glasses at Murray State.
According to gizmodo.com, the organization is collecting the solar eclipse glasses to redistribute to schools in Asia and South America, which are projected to have solar eclipses in 2019. Astronomers Without Borders is collecting the glasses not just from Murray State but from several other companies, social groups, and organizations willing to send some in. The organization’s mission is to take astronomy and astronomy study equipment to developing countries across the world.
While southern South America and Asia are the immediate regions receiving the glasses, the organization is hoping to recieve enough to use them and keep distributing them after 2019 for other eclipses happening around the world. More information about Astronomers Without Borders can be found at astronomerswithoutborders.org.
According to a poll taken on The Murray State News Twitter account, 83% of 108 people who took the poll still have the glasses in their possession, leaving only 17% that have trashed the glasses. The College of Education will collect these excess glasses and send them to Explore Scientific in Springdale, Arkansas where Astronomers Without Borders is collecting all the glasses.
Paige Rogers, Administrative Assistant at the College and Education and Human Services, saw the Gizmodo article online and decided to get Murray State’s campus involved. Rogers said they currently have collected around 200 glasses with more being donated every day.
“This resonated with me and aligned well with the mission of the College of Education and Human Services,” Rogers said. “We’re always looking for ways to educate future generations and further their potential.”
Hayley Wring, sophomore from Paducah, Kentucky, said she doesn’t think people really need their glasses anymore.
“You could donate them so that they can be enjoyed by people in other parts of the world,” Wring said. “And they can witness something incredible the same way we all did.”
Students wishing to donate their solar eclipse glasses to The College of Education can take them to the Dean’s Office in 3101 Alexander Hall.