Early start for eclipse

Friday, August 18, 2017
Fifth-grade students at East Side Elementary School position balls of different sizes to simulate the eclipse Thursday.
T-G Photo by Jason M. Reynolds

Students may be out Monday for the solar eclipse, but that has not stopped schools from hosting a variety of activities this week related to the celestial event.

One fifth-grade class at East Side Elementary has been on the ball, so to speak.

Mark Raymond has been using different size balls this week to illustrate the size of and the distance between the Moon and the Sun. His students visited a field next to the school a couple of times to pace off the distance to where the "Moon" ball covers the "Sun" ball.

Students and educators, with representatives of Bedford Vision, point and look at the sun Thursday while wearing eclipse glasses at Southside Elementary School. Bedford Vision donated visors to all area schools.
Submitted photo by Andrea Nix

Excited students

The students seemed to be excited, and all asked for their names to appear in the newspaper. They are: Lucia Floyd, Kevin Solis, Destiny Udalejo, Heaven Dickinson, Walter Wood, Ja'Marcus Campbell, Henry Seabastin, Alejandro Munoz, Nathan Eibling, Montaisia, Niena Copeland, Elizabeth Dominguez, Jaiden, Eschmann, Wyatt Porter, Zachary Waters, Richard Leal, Yaden Nino, Katie Marie Machleit, Karina Velasquez, Alexander Godinez and Lucas Olson.

Another school will turn off the lights.

H.B. Cowan & Co. delivered miniature Moon Pies to students and staff at Liberty School Thursday as part of its Partners in Education venture with the school through the Chamber of Commerce. The snacks were meant to be a fun way to represent the total solar eclipse. From left are: Kelly North of the Chamber; Brett Fisher, Beverly Derryberry, Brad McGee and Martha Fisher, of H.B. Cowan; and Amy McCullough and Cort Huffman of Liberty.
T-G Photo by Jason M. Reynolds

Learning Way Elementary staff said they planned eclipse-related events for today that include teachers reading science books in the dark, using flashlights, during assembly and conducting STEM projects in classes.

Community Elementary encouraged students and teachers to wear black for a "blackout," assistant principal Susan Huff said. Second-grade teachers will rotate among their classes and do presentations on eclipse glass safety, show a video and make models of the eclipse.

To the Moon (Pie)

One school event was more whimsical -- and tasty.

H.B. Cowan & Co. delivered miniature Moon Pies Thursday to Liberty School. The insurance company chose Liberty because it has partnered with that school through the Chamber of Commerce's Partners in Education initiative, said the company's Martha Fisher, a former Liberty assistant principal.

Meanwhile, Bedford Vision staff visited Southside Elementary School Thursday. The clinic offered to donate eclipse glasses to all students in the county.

Becky Young, Olivia Thomas and Bethany Bannister, representatives from Bedford Vision, delivered the glasses to the students at Southside, teacher Andrea Nix said. Some of the children got a special "sneak peek" using them to look at the sun.

"That's so cool!" and "Look at the sun!" were some of the exclamations heard from the students.

Nix said, "It was really neat. It looked like a perfect bright yellow circle. You couldn't see anything else though. It was like being blindfolded, unless you looked directly at the sun."

-- Andrea Nix of Southside contributed to this report.