Help St. Louis students view the eclipse

Posted by Michael Bakich
on Thursday, June 29, 2017

I received this plea for funding support from one of the people behind observing activities for the August 21 total solar eclipse in the St. Louis area. I thought I'd share it with our readers.

Kids everywhere in the U.S. should be able to view the upcoming eclipse safely. You can help students in the St. Louis area with a contribution. // Mark Margolis

The St. Louis Eclipse Task Force has been working since 2014 to prepare the St. Louis region for the August 21 total solar eclipse. In 2016, the task force launched its “Solar Glasses for Kids” program with the goal of providing ISO certified solar glasses to as many students as possible in K‐12 schools in the Greater St. Louis area. Priority is given to schools with the greatest percent of free and reduced lunch students and/or the lowest amount of per pupil expenditures.

Application Process

Schools may apply online here. Applications must be made by an authorized school representative of a public, private, or parochial pre‐K‐12 school located in the City of St. Louis, the Missouri counties of Franklin, Jefferson, Lincoln, St. Charles, St. Louis, or Warren, or the Illinois counties of Bond, Calhoun, Clinton, Jersey, Macoupin, Madison, Monroe, or St. Clair. Schools can receive one pair of glasses per student and staff member. There is no cost to the school if awarded the glasses.

Current Status

As of noon on June 29, 2017, the program has received 240 applications from schools requesting a total of 107,000 free solar glasses. Please note, the numbers are changing daily as word gets out!

Currently, the program has funding for 50,000 solar glasses:

* 30,000 solar glasses have been allocated to schools.

* 5,000 solar glasses are in stock and are in the process of being allocated to schools.

* 15,000 solar glasses are on order from the manufacturer.

The program needs an additional 57,000 solar glasses to fulfill all current requests from schools. A working price is 31 cents each for the purchase of close-out and stock glasses. Quantity details are as follows:

* 40,000 more solar glasses to fulfill requests of schools with 50% or higher free lunches ($12,400).

* An additional 10,000 solar glasses to reduce this percentage to 40 percent or higher free lunches ($3,100).

* An additional 7,000 solar glasses to fulfill all remaining requests ($2,170).


Funding must be received by Friday, July 14, for orders to be placed with the manufacturer for timely shipment. Contributions to the program can be made by check or credit card. Payments should be made to the St. Louis Astronomical Society which is a 501(c)3 tax exempt non‐profit established in 1936 (Federal ID: 43‐1439598).

To contribute by credit card, visit the “Solar Glasses for Kids Program” link located on the home page here.

To contribute by check, make checks payable to the St. Louis Astronomical Society and mail to:

St. Louis Astronomical Society

c/o Solar Glasses for Kids Program

13024 Barrett Crossing CT

Kirkwood, MO 63122‐4900

Learn more about the program at or contact us by email at or by telephone at (314) 550‐7191.

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