1K Peo­ple De­scend on the NY Hall of Science in Queens to See the So­lar Eclipse

The Jewish Voice - - SPECIAL FEATURES -

It was 12 noon and the lines were around the block into the park­ing lot as more than one thou­sand New York­ers joined by residents from Long Is­land, New Jer­sey, Con­necti­cut and Westch­ester to ex­pe­ri­ence a nat­u­ral phe­nom­ena that is very rare, an al­most to­tal eclipse of the sun.

Ac­cord­ing to the ex­perts what we saw at the NY Hall of Science, lo­cated in Corona-Flush­ing Meadow Park in Queens, was an eclipse where the moon passed in front of the sun, block­ing out about 71% of the light source from the sun.

More than half the eclipse sky gaz­ers were from the bor­ough of Queens. Many came with fam­ily and friends to be part of the ex­pe­ri­ence.

Mayor DeBla­sio is­sued a warn­ing as did the New York City De­part­ment of Health alert­ing New York­ers about look­ing di­rectly into the eclipse of the sun with­out wear­ing spe­cial glasses that were made to block some of the suns dan­ger­ous eye dam­ag­ing ul­tra-vi­o­let rays.

It was very clear to those who gath­ered at the New York Hall of Science that they were in a per­fect spot to view the eclipse. The Hall of Science, not ready for more than two hun­dred vis­i­tors were very sur­prised that so many vis­i­tors came to the eclipse party there.

More than a thou­sand vis­i­tors showed up for the spe­cial event caus­ing the Hall of Science to run out of spe­cial glasses early and asked that ev­ery­one who re­ceived a pair of free eclipse glasses to share them with oth­ers who were there.

We spoke with Dan Wenpa, Vice Pres­i­dent for Ex­ter­nal Af­fairs at the NY Hall of Science, who told the Gazette, “To­day is a spe­cial day. It is the kind of spe­cial day that doesn't hap­pen all the time. It is a day with a turnout that even over­whelmed us. These kind of mo­ments are big­ger than all of us."

We met Ta­tiana Walker and her beau­ti­ful 2-yr old daugh­ter over­whelms Hamil­ton from Corona, who thought the ex­pe­ri­ence, was awe­some. Mom said< “We are here for two rea­sons, We’re here to check out the pre-school open­ings and see the so­lar eclipse.” Joyce Vetere, se­nior correspondent to the Jewish Voice NY, a for­mer el­e­men­tary school teacher and now a univer­sity staff mem­ber a LIU Post in the ed­u­ca­tion de­part­ment was thrilled to have an op­por­tu­nity to speak with young chil­dren about the ex­pe­ri­ence they were about to have. Joyce spoke with stu­dents about the eclipse in­clud­ing. A six year old from Jack­son Heights told Joyce,” The moon is next to the sun and blocks out the sun.” That’s great stuff com­ing from a 6 year old about to be­gin first grade in Septem­ber,

Sheila Dear, a science lab fa­cil­i­ta­tor and teacher at Yeshiva Dale­hei To­rah, Rock­away, brought her two chil­dren, Moshe (13) and Riva(8) to see the eclipse. Moshe knew that the last eclipse took place 38 years ago in the United States.

Bay­side res­i­dent, El­lyn Penze who attended IS 25 as a child, came alone but many dif­fer­ent peo­ple at the event.

Anna Bar­ios from Flush­ing brought her son Raul (11) to see his first eclipse.

Danielle Peritz came with her mother Suzanne, a stay at home mom who was just elected pres­i­dent of the Rocky Hill Civic As­so­ci­a­tion in Bellerose, Queens.

The Egas fam­ily from Bay­side were rep­re­sent­ing PS 31(Bay­side, Queen) at Mon­day’s eclipse party. Marco (36) brought his two chil­dren Lyla(6), en­ter­ing first grade and and Lu­cas(4) en­ter­ing pre-k at PS 38 in Bay­side. They were seen hold­ing up the pin camera they made with the as­sis­tance of in­struc­tions handed out by Hall of Science staff mem­bers, who were on hand to as­sist wher­ever they were needed. An­other Bay­side fam­ily led by Pa­trick Brooney and his chil­dren Cather­ine (4) and Pa­trick(3) were seen bor­row­ing glasses from those who got them, so they can see the eclipse.

Sarah Esse brought her two Yeshiva Har To­rah stu­dents, Ede (12) and his sis­ter Si­van(9) to join in the celebration and learn some­thing about science.

The last fam­ily we spoke with was from Sun­ny­side Queens. Su­san Bing brought her daugh­ter Mag­no­lia Bing-Ed­wards(8) who at­tends a pri­vate school, the Alt School in the East Village was so ex­cited about the who ex­pe­ri­ence. The Gazette learned that eight year old Mag­no­lia is an avid reader, as is her mother> While mom jumps for joy over the ser­vices of the Queens li­brary sys­tem her young daugh­ter has gained the ex­cite­ment and fer­vor for read­ing. Her fa­vorite au­thor is none other than J.K. Rowl­ing. Young Mag­no­lia loves to go out and play with her friends in Sun­ny­side, but also loves to curl up with a Harry Pot­ter book, writ­ten by Rowl­ing.

Corona was a com­mu­nity that pro­duced many of the Hall of Science Eclipse Party guests. Elvira Giret brought her two chil­dren Bri­ana Gon­za­lez and Su­san Giret. They all had a ball try­ing to look at the eclipse with their home­made pin­hole cam­eras.

Sarah Valen­zuela, a 23 year old free­lance jour­nal­ist, from Corona summed it all up when she told the Gazette, “this was a won­der­ful thing for the Hall of Science to do.” It brought fam­ily’s young and old alike to­gether to have a com­mon ex­pe­ri­ence that most will re­mem­ber for the rest of their lives.

Sarah is a grad­u­ate of Syra­cuse Univer­sity where she ma­jored in jour­nal­ism. She is a Queens girl all the way at­tend­ing el­e­men­tary school PS191Q, MS 172 Queens and Queens High School of Teach­ing. She re­cently moved to Queens Village and is cur­rently test­ing the wa­ters for a me­dia out­let to of­fer her ser­vices.

The Hall of Science is one of the hid­den trea­sures of the Bor­ough of Queens and should be vis­ited by ev­ery­one with chil­dren who as adults are chil­dren at heart.

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