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Get a Free, Kid-Friendly Solar Eclipse Booklet from Bill Nye and the National Parks

Bill Nye in Solar Eclipse Viewing Glasses
Bill Nye and The Planetary Society have joined with the U.S. National Park Service to create kid-friendly eclipse resources. (Image credit: The Planetary Society)

The U.S. National Park Service (NPS) has partnered with science popularizer Bill Nye and The Planetary Society to create kid-friendly resources about the total solar eclipse on Aug. 21, including a special Junior Ranger program booklet and badge.

The program booklet, which is intended for kids ages 5 to 13, is available for free online and at parks in the path of totality. The booklet features a cartoon Junior Ranger named CaLisa and a cartoon version of Nye, CEO of The Planetary Society and host of the Netflix series "Bill Nye Saves the World."

The Planetary Society and the NPS also worked together on a web series called "Bill Nye & the Totally Awesome Solar Eclipse," which explores eclipse science and the connection between eclipses and national parks. [21 National Parks Where You Can See the 2017 Solar Eclipse]

The NPS' Junior Ranger program is intended for children and youth ages 5 to 13, although people of any age can participate. The program is offered at most national parks and allows participants to learn about the parks and do a series of related activities to earn badges.

The Planetary Society and its CEO, Bill Nye, have teamed up with the U.S. National Park Service to create a series of videos about the total solar eclipse. This video shows an ancient rock carving in Chaco Culture National Historical Park that may depict a total solar eclipse. (Image credit: The Planetary Society)

The Junior Ranger booklet encourages participants to do activities such as making up their own eclipse stories or calculating what age the child will be when the next total solar eclipse occurs in the U.S. in 2024. 

Nye will be at Homestead National Monument of America in Nebraska on the day of the eclipse to promote the booklet and greet park visitors onstage. [The Best Travel Destinations for Seeing the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse]

"The program's motto is 'Explore, Learn, and Protect,' and the Eclipse Explorer booklet and badge are designed to inspire and empower kids and families while enhancing their learning experience," according to a joint statement from The Planetary Society and the NPS.

Editor's note: has teamed up with Simulation Curriculum to offer this awesome Eclipse Safari app to help you enjoy your eclipse experience. The free app is available for Apple (opens in new tab) and Android, and you can view it on the web. If you take an amazing photo of the Aug. 21 solar eclipse, let us know! Send photos and comments to:

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Elizabeth Howell
Elizabeth Howell

Elizabeth Howell, Ph.D., is a staff writer in the spaceflight channel since 2022. She was contributing writer for (opens in new tab) for 10 years before that, since 2012. As a proud Trekkie and Canadian, she also tackles topics like diversity, science fiction, astronomy and gaming to help others explore the universe. Elizabeth's on-site reporting includes two human spaceflight launches from Kazakhstan, three space shuttle missions in Florida, and embedded reporting from a simulated Mars mission in Utah. She holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, and a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University. Elizabeth is also a post-secondary instructor in communications and science since 2015. Her latest book, Leadership Moments from NASA, is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday.