Texarkana College to Host Free Public Lecture on the Science of Solar Eclipses


At today’s board meeting, Texarkana College Trustees were briefed about TC’s preparations for the upcoming total solar eclipse phenomenon. Texarkana College is hosting a lecture to provide information to the community about the science, meaning and history of solar eclipses. The lecture is free and open to the public. The seminar is sponsored by TC’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Math + Business (STEM+B) Division and will feature physics professor Delbert Dowdy as the speaker.

Dr. Catherine Howard, Dean of TC’s STEM+B Division, provided the Trustees with an overview of the lecture.

“To celebrate this once in a lifetime event and to help our students and community members safely view the eclipse, TC is hosting an informational lecture,” said Dr. Howard. “The title of the lecture is Darkness is Dawning and will be held on April 4, 2024, at 4:00 PM in the James Henry Russell STEM Complex located on the south side of campus. Delbert Dowdy will be presenting on the science and history of eclipses –how they happen and why, and how they have been perceived throughout history. In addition, he will give tips and safety guidelines for viewing the eclipse. We will also be giving away T-shirts, eclipse viewing glasses, and plan to have mini moon pies and mini-Sunkist drinks for refreshments. Everyone is welcome!”

Dr. Howard said it is important for our community to understand the importance of safely viewing the eclipse.

“It can be really dangerous to view an eclipse—especially as it begins to end—our eyes become dilated from the darkness and when the sun’s rays begin to reappear, our retina’s have no protection from the UV rays,” said Dr. Howard. “For the eclipse of April 8, 2024— a fairly large swath of the US will experience totality—where the moon seems to completely cover the sun. Texarkana will be in the path of totality for 2 minutes and 36 seconds with the maximum at 1:48 PM. DeKalb will experience totality for 4 minutes and 10.8 seconds-nearly as long as anyplace in the country. However, the whole event, from the beginning of the eclipse to the end, will last for 2 hours and 39 minutes beginning at 12:28 PM and ending at 3:07 PM.”

Dr. Howard said that during totality, the temperature will drop, stars will appear, birds will become confused and sing nighttime songs, and as totality begins and ends, you’ll see everything through an odd silvery light.

“Total solar eclipses, while not exceeding rare on Earth, only happen at specific locations only every 360 years,” said Dr. Howard. “The STEM+B Division is proud to host the free lecture to provide insight into the remarkable and highly anticipated cosmic event that will soon take place in Bowie County!”

In other board business, TC Trustees heard a report by Brad Hoover, CPA, VP of Finance and Chief Financial Officer, regarding the tuition and fees schedule for the academic year 2024-2025. Hoover said there is no recommended increase in tuition and mandatory fees and TC will remain as a leader in providing low-cost higher education opportunities in Northeast Texas.

“One mission of Texarkana College is to provide affordable quality education programs for our students and the communities we serve,” said Hoover. “The amount the college charges for tuition and fees has historically been below many of our peer institutions. Currently, we are right at the state average for tuition and mandatory fees for public community colleges.”

Trustees reviewed and approved the recommended tuition and mandatory fees schedule which reflects no changes from the previous year.

Information about Texarkana College’s tuition and fees, scholarships, financial aid, and payment plans can be accessed on the institution’s website at https://www.texarkanacollege.edu/admissions-aid/tuition-financial-aid/.

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