RCS Views the Total Solar Eclipse
Submitted by Alyssa Kiefer in RCS Highlights on August 21, 2017
On Monday, August 21, Redwood students – elementary through high school – took time to view the wonder of the solar eclipse. One student even brought his own “viewing box” to witness the event.
As clouds and proximity to the eclipse path challenged our “live” ability to see the eclipse perfectly, students still gathered for their piece of the 1h 33m 16.8s eclipse, and all enjoyed the chance to see the rare event. For example, elementary students gathered for a school-wide assembly to watch the eclipse via NASA satellite. Middle and high school students gathered at the soccer field to view the eclipse as it occurred in San Lorenzo using safety glasses with solar filters. The educational opportunities will continue in classrooms as sixth grade students make Eclipse Flipbooks and high school students spend a science unit on eclipses (including a field trip to the Chabot Space and Science center).
Why We Are Excited.
While eclipses happen worldwide every 18 months, this was the United State’s first coast-to-coast total eclipse since June 8, 1918. The “totality zone” scientists describe is a line where the moon completely blocks the sun, shading a part of the sea and a path line through the United States, similar-looking to a premature evening. In some areas of the country, the eclipse lasted close to three minutes, and in others only seconds. Either way, it created a rare and awesome learning opportunity!
Middle and high school students were excited as the sun’s image appeared in their glasses. Observations such as the color, the brightness, and the duration of the eclipse were discussed. A middle school student shares, “It looks like a red fluorescent fingernail,” as he described what he was seeing as the eclipse was happening through his glasses.
Total solar eclipses are extraordinary opportunities to study both the Earth’s intimate relationship with the sun and to marvel at the intricate design God used to create the universe. While we will have wait for scientists to collect observations and hard data from today’s eclipse to understand the technical discoveries gleaned from today’s events, students will be able to continue to be active learners in their study of the details of orbit, the rarity of an eclipse, and the beauty of God’s design.