Science teachers are rejoicing for the flood of great resources available to teach a fascinating naturally occurring event Monday—the solar eclipse. But how can social studies teachers benefit? Large groups of people will be moving around the United States to try to get into the "zone of totality" where a complete blackout will be achieved. Economically, this event is having large consequences. Below are some resources for economics teachers to bring their lessons out of the dark.
For how the eclipse will affect areas and regions, towns within the zone of totality are trying to cash in on potential tourism, even hosting a countdown to eclipse day, reports CNBC. Some towns and cities have gone so far as to set up large viewing areas akin to music and arts festivals, making land lucrative for farmers to rent out. In even rarer cases, cities that have seen a decrease in population and are growing again have revamped talk of new infrastructure projects because of the recent influx, according to the Washington Post. The city of Grand Island, Nebraska estimates it could see a boom of nearly one million dollars to its economy!
In terms of energy and resources, Fortune discusses how with the advent of solar power and its growing influence on the electrical grid, governments are concerned about the how the blackout will affect electricity supplies. Enter natural gas, which in California is having to step in and ramp up production. The Economist weighs in on how solar grids will handle the supply disruption. For a more serious discussion, an economics paper from 2009 proposed how eclipses affect stock market returns due to the beliefs of the superstitious.
Happy viewing, and remember to make rational and self-interested decisions, like wearing real glasses, not fake ones!