Scientistas Train For the Ultimate Celestial Event: The Total Solar Eclipse

Hannah Petrosky joined the Kent State chapter of the Scientistas Foundation in the fall of 2023 at the urging of a friend, Ella Spalding, as a way to nurture her interest in stargazing and astronomy.  

Petrosky had perfect timing because now she finds herself involved in one of the most anticipated celestial events in North America, the upcoming total solar eclipse of April 8, 2024.  

Petrosky, a senior integrated science major in Kent State’s College of Education, Health and Human Services, is a member of a pre-service teacher education team participating in a grant-funded citizen science project for the eclipse, according to Annette Kratcoski, Ph.D., director of Kent State’s Research Center for Educational Technology. The project comprises over 80 teams across North America. 

The Scientistas are helping the Research Center for Educational Technology host a pre-eclipse event  for the community on April 3, Kratcoski said.

“I have always been interested in space and astronomy,” Petrosky said. “Ever since a young age, I would always love stargazing and learning about that kind of stuff. But thanks to Scientistas, and the education program, I actually will be able to get hands on with the eclipse. I have become more interested since starting the project.”

Here is Petrosky speaking with Kent State Today about the Scientistas and the eclipse project.

Kent State’s chapter of the Scientistas Foundation works to “empower undergraduate women in STEM fields.” They have bi-weekly meetings including discussions about current events, networking, professional development and community involvement.

Scientistas Elise and Hannah Petrosky are learning how to use a grant funded camera and telescope to take pictures of the eclipse.or Educational Technology

Other upcoming projects include a Pi Day event, which will be held in conjunction with the Society for Women in Engineering and the Women’s Center. The club also has hosted game nights and resumé editing nights.

Spalding, a senior biochemistry/pre-med major, is president of the Kent State chapter. “My friends were involved in the club, and they had a great time,” Spalding said. “I wanted to be part of a club that was dedicated to supporting and empowering women in STEM.”

POSTED: Tuesday, March 12, 2024 03:42 PM
Updated: Tuesday, March 12, 2024 04:42 PM
April McClellan-Copeland
Photos provided by Hanna Petrosky and Annette Kratcoski, Ph.D.