var str = The SAA-SDS Eclipse Experience|St. Agnes Academy-St. Dominic School

The SAA-SDS Eclipse Experience

The SAA-SDS Eclipse Experience

10 Apr, 2024

Monday, April 8 is a day we will all remember! Witnessing the eclipse with our students provided a perfect opportunity to combine an afternoon of fun with real-world STEM learning. It is one thing to read about science-it is another thing to actually experience it!

Our SAA and SDS science teachers took full advantage of this monumental occasion to explore the science behind it prior to the event-in very creative ways. Seventh grade teacher Elizabeth Frank shared, “A solar eclipse is obviously an Earth Science topic, but my 7th grade Life Science students were able to tie the solar eclipse to our current unit of study-protein synthesis.”

“Students are learning about how our cells use DNA to produce proteins that make our bodies work correctly, like the clear protein that makes the lens of our eye transparent which allows for light to pass through. This clear protein is the reason our eyes can process light, colors, and shapes for our brain to interpret as our sense of sight. As a class, we discussed the immense importance of the use of the solar eclipse glasses to keep our eyes healthy and functioning properly, and so that our eyes do not sustain damage from the sun's rays during the eclipse.”  

Shortly after 12:30, students headed outside, spread blankets onto the ground, and donned their glasses. As classes gazed up at the sky, they shared themed treats from Moon Pies to Sun Chips-and even Eclipse gum. The students had some interesting observations as the eclipse progressed, including “The moon is so slow” and “I thought it would be darker.” One group counted down the last ten seconds to totality (1:58 p.m.), with one classmate exclaiming “Happy New Year!”

Thanks to SAA-SDS parent, John Jerit, president of American Paper Optics, who generously provided eclipse glasses for our campus, we were all able to safely view the eclipse. The company also provided eclipse maps and books, including The Moonies: Journey to the Total Solar Eclipse written by Meg Jerit, SAA ’16. These materials were a wonderful resource to help our educators prepare students for this historical event.

Meg, a graduate of Rhodes College (BA) and Columbia College Chicago (MFA), is a creative nonfiction writer and poet, currently living in Austin, TX. She based The Moonies on her own family’s experience of the 2017 eclipse, when they traveled to Nashville to see totality only to have it ruined by cloud interference. Meg’s book serves both as a fun read and a way to share eclipse safety tips with young children.

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