By Tracie Mitchell
Staff Writer 

WYDOT accepting donations of solar eclipse glasses


August 30, 2017

Karla Pomeroy

WORLAND – The "The Great American Total Solar Eclipse" is now a thing of the past and those who participated in the event are left with their memories and at least one pair of eclipse glasses that they will probably never have a need for again. WYDOT (Wyoming Department of Transportation) partnered with Astronomers Without Borders (AWB) to give those eclipse glasses a new lease on life instead of ending up in the landfill.

AWB is a non-profit organization which collects and redistributes eclipse glasses around the world where there will be upcoming eclipses. Right now, the organization is focused on getting eclipse glasses to schools in South Africa and Asia for eclipses in 2019, helping those schools better prepare for educating students in STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) who might not be able to afford the glasses otherwise, AWB founder and president Mike Simmons said.

"Astronomy is a gateway field. It gives an opportunity to bridge into a number of other scientific fields. It's even more important in other countries where they don't have the opportunity," Simmons said.

According to a press release from WYDOT, eclipse glasses can be dropped off at the following Department of Transportation offices:

-1701 Big Horn Ave., Worland.

- 5300 Bishop Blvd., Cheyenne.

- 900 Bryan Stock Trail, Casper.

- 68 16th Street, Wheatland.

- 3615 W. Main Street, Riverton.

- 1040 E. Evans Road, Jackson.

During the "Great American Total Solar Eclipse" Simmons was in Casper handing out eclipse glasses to people who needed them, even exchanging fake glasses for authentic glasses. Simmons also distributed glasses to schools in poor areas and children's hospitals prior to the event. In total, AWB distributed 130,000 eclipse glasses.

Before the eclipse glasses are redistributed they will be checked for damage and authenticity by Explore Scientific out of Springdale, Arizona, who is working with AWB.

According to the press release if someone cannot get their glasses to one of the locations listed, they can be recycled. The lenses should be popped out of the cardboard before recycling.


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