Area teachers use eclipse as learning experience


Fairbanks third, fourth and fifth graders were able to view the solar eclipse Monday afternoon, following some lengthy lessons about the phenomenon. Pictured are, left to right, McKenna Lentz, Vinny Luke and Max Sanford.
(Journal-Tribune photo by Jacob Runnels)
The third, fourth and fifth graders of Fairbanks Elementary School were greeted to the rare phenomenon of the solar eclipse on a cloudy Monday afternoon.
Each class took turns going outside, with teacher Tina Hall’s class being able to see the full totality of the eclipse. Though Central Ohio didn’t get to see a full eclipse, her students said they had a blast being able to see the sun get obscured by the moon.
“We did a lesson this morning with golden and chocolate Oreos to simulate the eclipse,” Hall said. “We also watched a simulation for our area… and, since we started school last week, we’ll still be working on this lesson tomorrow.”
Armed with Sun Chips, Moon Pies and CoSi solar shield glasses, her fifth graders were prepared for the eclipse, knowing of the dangers of staring at the sun with unprotected eyes. They also had special wristbands they created, with beads that represented Earth, the moon and the sun.
They were in awe at how, just like in their lessons, the afternoon looked as if it was evening instead and the temperature had dropped.
“It was very good, and sometimes it looked like Pac Man,” said fifth grader Max Sanford, who said the eclipse had “definitely” reminded him of what he learned in class. “Now, it looks like a little croissant.”
Most students were using solar glasses to see the sun, but fifth grader Michael Rogers was using a pinhole projector. Using a cut-up cereal box with some tin foil and aiming himself opposite of the sun, he was able to see a projection of the eclipse through the device.
“I thought it was going to move a lot faster than what it did,” Rogers said.
The class met outside for 15 minutes to check out the eclipse. Afterward, they shuffled back into the building, gasping with oohs and awes at the phenomenon. Luckily for them, the next solar eclipse they’ll be watching will be in 2024.

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