4th grade students wearing eclipse glasses smile while looking into the sky

This week, our students could enjoy one of nature’s great spectacles and dig into some interesting astronomy concepts on Earth! We had a good view of the partial solar eclipse on the morning of April 8th using eclipse glasses on Swig Field. Although we were not in the path of totality, the combined view of objects as massive as the sun and moon is always a moving experience.

In grades 3 and 7, students are working on astronomy units that teach about objects near and far. In 3rd grade, students are using the excitement from the eclipse to kick off new research. The kids are reading from the class library of space books and will select a topic to study this week. Later, they will decide how to share this learning with others (in a project-based learning unit).

In 7th grade, students just finished a scale model of the solar system, marked out on Swig Field. This 100-foot model showed the distances between planets using the astronomical unit, or the distance between Earth and the sun. You can read more about it here. To see an excellent short film about the size of the solar system, check out To Scale: The Solar System, by Wylie Overstreet and Alex Gorosh.

Rich Seymour
Middle School Science

Jeff Krieger
3rd Grade

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