Students Celebrate Historic Solar Eclipse in Many Ways

Aug. 21, 2017 ~ The historic solar eclipse engaged the nation and created excitement locally in the Olathe School District. August 21 brought a solar eclipse with 99.4 percent totality across Olathe. At approximately 1:08 p.m., students witnessed history with special NASA-approved viewing solar glasses. The district purchased enough glasses for every student and staff member to ensure participation for all.

For several months, district leadership and curriculum coordinators had planned on using this event as a learning opportunity for all students.

Classroom activities included collaboration between class subjects, such as experiencing the eclipse through historical lenses or understanding the science in the drop in temperature. Many students made journal entries of observations.

Several schools started the day with safety assemblies and discussed safe viewing practices and the importance of wearing the safety glasses at all times.

Students at Heatherstone Elementary traced the shadows of the sun intermittently throughout the eclipse and recorded temperature and wind changes. The nearby wooded area provided an opportunity for students to listen to changes in animal noises. Snacks such as Moon Pies, Sun Chips and Starbursts were given out to students as parent volunteers assisted with each class to make sure students kept their glasses on.

Bentwood Elementary students practiced their eclipse viewing plans the previous week as teachers were provided age-appropriate activities which included videos, songs and activities. Younger students made headbands and paper models.

“Teachers and staff members have taken the utmost precautions and practiced the correct viewing procedures to ensure that students are safe and understand the importance of wearing their glasses during the eclipse,” Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning Jessica Dain said. “This is truly one of life’s best science experiences and we feel so lucky to have the opportunity to help guide student learning!”

The district purchased enough solar eclipse glasses for every student and staff member to safely view the historic event. Elementary students view solar eclipse
Elementary students painted an eclipse as part of their learning activities on Aug. 21. students painted an eclipse
From elementary schools to high schools, Olathe students went outside after lunch on Aug. 21 to watch the solar eclipse. high school boys watch eclipse
Students of all ages craned their necks to look into the southern sky and watch the moon's progress across the sun. high school students watch solar eclipse