By Melissa Newman
SANTA MARIA, Calif. – It started off as organized chaos as dozens of families packed into the Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum; among them was the Chumpitaz family.
“It just worked out – [my son] doesn’t start school to Wednesday yet so we started looking online and a lot of them were a little farther out so to have it in our own community was a great opportunity for them,” Alexander Chumpitaz says.
Despite all of the excitement, Mother Nature just wasn’t cooperating; the sky was so overcast, museum staff ended up putting on a live feed from NASA.
“So we can’t really see it but on the TV it was cool,” Uriah Chumpitaz says.
While some families filtered out after that, others stuck around doing crafts and playing with exhibits which paid off.
Around 11 a.m. the eclipse was visible over Santa Maria.
Museum staff says they hope this event shows kids that science can be fun.
“So the more hands on the better and I feel like having a celestial event like the eclipse where we can see it happening in real time and prepare them for something like that – it serves as the spark that they need to be more interested and STEAM in general,” Program Director, Amy Blasco explains.
The museum says all of the money they raised in admission Monday will help them bring in new exhibits for the kids.