The Solar Eclipse on the Collegiate Lawn

For those of you who missed it, the first solar eclipse visible in the United States in 38 years soared across the sky Monday, Aug. 21. Erin Smyth, middle school science teacher, invited rising sixth-grade students and their families to watch and learn more about the planetary phenomenon from the Norfolk Collegiate campus. We’re happy to report everyone kept their eyesight and gained a healthy appreciation for planetary alignment.

Students brought cereal boxes to create their own eclipse glasses (or camera obscura) for safe viewing, and students were able to share several paper glasses, allowing them to look directly at the sun while the moon crept in front of it.

“We had such a great turnout,” says Smyth. “It was the perfect opportunity to catch up after summer break and check out a really neat space event at the same time. I loved that I only had to explain how to make a pinhole projector a few times, then the people I taught stuck around to help newcomers create their own — without my asking! It really showed the kind and helpful spirit of the Collegiate community.”

Alan Stell and Dave Fisher, both upper school science teachers, set up telescopes equipped with solar lenses for Collegiate community members to get an up-close view of the main event. There were several sky charts and displays to give learners a better idea of what they were watching.

In Norfolk, we saw 88 percent of the sun covered by the moon at exactly 2:47p.m., a unanimously exciting moment for all of the attendees. We’re already counting down the days to the next eclipse visible in the U.S. on April 8, 2024!

AUG 2017