2024 Solar Eclipse

DCSS Students, Teachers Use Solar Eclipse As Real-Life Science Lesson
Posted on 04/11/2024
Students and teachers across Douglas County used Monday’s rare solar eclipse as an opportunity to bring an astronomy lesson to life.

There were fun, eclipse-themed snacks at Mason Creek Elementary and Winston Elementary, special lessons about the eclipse at Winston, Mason Creek, Eastside Elementary and Fairplay Middle, and plenty of opportunities for students and teachers across the district, from Alexander High to Arbor Station Elementary, to view the eclipse.

Alexander Science Department Chair Jeffery Davison said several classes at the school had special glasses and went outside to watch the progression as the moon shrouded the sun just after 3 p.m.

Davison said his students went outside four times during the class for about five minutes at a time to watch the progression.

“When the eclipse reached max coverage for us, we stayed out for the rest of the class period,” he said. “Many other classes also went outside to observe the eclipse when it reached maximum cover for our area.”

Sarah Leach, who teaches 12th grade English at AHS, said her students “had a once-in-a-lifetime experience to watch the sun and the moon unite into a spectacular sight.”

“Many were speechless as they placed their glasses over their eyes and looked up, checking every minute or so to watch the progression,” she said. “Other students were commenting on the changing colors around us as our shadows appeared to have a bluish tone throughout the progression.”

At Fairplay, Kelly Bunker’s eighth-grade science students worked with partners and became the sun and the Earth, with students acting as the Earth extending their arms out to make the moon.

“The students were able to see that even though their thumb is way smaller than the other person, they were able to hide them when at the just right position,” Bunker said.

Lydia Palmer’s sixth-grade social studies class reviewed the necessary alignment of the Earth, Moon, and Sun for a solar eclipse to occur, then explored NASA's eclipse map, discussed what we would see based on our location in Georgia, and then viewed the eclipse first hand.

“It was an awesome day to experience the eclipse together in real time with our Jaguars!” Palmer said.

At Winston, Principal Heather George said “students took full advantage of learning more about Monday's eclipse while engaging in a variety of opportunities that enhanced their knowledge about the different types of eclipses and compared and contrasted how its path in our area would look different than in other states such as Texas and Arkansas.”

“From viewing previous eclipse videos, reading and writing, and even creating a solar eclipse book, it was a total eclipse of learning for our Wildcats,” George said.

Students in Winston second grade teacher Amy Spiva’s class enjoyed Moon Pies and SunnyD as a special eclipse snack.

In kindergarten teacher Michelle Culberson's class, students made models of the eclipse, sang a song and acted out a solar eclipse using signs of Earth, the moon and the sun.

Fourth grade teacher Nicole Matznick said her students watched a brainpop video on eclipses and then viewed NASA's live stream of the eclipse.

“The kids were very excited by how different the sun looked and they were amazed at how rapidly it changed,” Matznick said.

In Claire Cooley’s fifth-grade science class at Winston, students learned about solar eclipses and then practiced solar eclipse viewing safety, with classroom lamps and overhead lights serving as “suns” while objects were used to partially cover them “as the moon does in an eclipse.”

Cooley said she wanted her students to understand that our “eyes are at risk even when the sun is obscured.”

At Eastside Elementary, Principal Timothy Jenkins said students from every grade level watched the eclipse online and teachers were provided with activities that students could complete through the day pertaining to the eclipse. Some students at Eastside also got to view the eclipse outside with special glasses.

“All in all, discussing and viewing the solar eclipse was a very educational experience for us at Eastside Elementary School,” Jenkins said.

Arbor Station Principal Dr. Emily Felton said third-grade students at her school witnessed the eclipse using solar viewing glasses provided by the PTSO.

“The students observed the awe-inspiring phenomenon while emphasizing the importance of protective measures while viewing this exciting event,” Felton said. “Allowing students to witness the eclipse instilled a sense of responsibility and curiosity for future scientific engineers.”

At Mason Creek Elementary, first grade lead teacher Crystal Evans said her students started the day with a wonderful book called “Total Solar Eclipse,” then watched videos about the eclipse, had special eclipse-themed math and ELA lessons and ended with a special snack including Capri-Sun drinks, Cosmic Brownies, Moon Pies and Star Crunch cookies.

Lisa Sweeney, who also teaches first grade at MAES, said her students were “very excited” about the eclipse.

Sweeney incorporated the eclipse into the daily learning experiences across all subjects on Monday. Sweeney’s class created a model using students to represent the sun, moon and Earth, showing how when the three are in proper alignment it creates a solar eclipse. There were also special eclipse-related activities for Calendar Math, Math, Reading, Writing, Social Studies and Science, culminating with watching the eclipse outside with special glasses and Solar Eclipse doughnuts from Krispy Kreme.

“It was a great day of learning!” Sweeney said.
    Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2024 SchoolMessenger Corporation. All rights reserved.