Students marvel at crescent sun

Wednesday, August 23, 2017
Bradan Dickinson, left, and Timothy Hudson, both eighth graders at Cassville Middle School, watch the solar eclipse as it nears its peak in Cassville, where 93.4 percent of the sun was covered by the moon. The middle school students watched the stellar event from the football field, and the high school students partook in the eclipse from the high school. Kyle Trotuman

93.4 percent of sun covered during eclipse

Students at Cassville Middle School and Cassville High School witnessed a first-in-a-lifetime stellar event Monday, as the much talked about solar eclipse covered 93.4 percent of the sun in Cassville.

The first total eclipse to cross the U.S. mainland since 1979, in Cassville, the event began at 11:43 a.m. and continued for 2 hours and 57 minutes. At 1:12 p.m., the peak time of the eclipse, 93.4 percent of the sun was covered.

A group of Cassville Middle School students used their eclipse glasses to see the crescent of the sun during the solar eclipse’s peak on Monday, where 93.4 percent of the sun was covered in Cassville. Kyle Trotuman

Elementary and intermediate school students watched the eclipse from inside via an internet stream. With a signed permission slip, middle and high school students wore eclipse glasses purchased by the district and went outside to watch the event from 12:50-1:20 p.m. High school students watched from the south lawn, sixth graders were in the middle school courtyard and the seventh and eighth graders were at Wildcat Stadium.

Jill LeCompte, assistant superintendent, said the eclipse was used as a way to liven up the science classes at every campus.

“This brings our science curriculum alive,” LeCompte said. “It’s something different that the kids can see and feel, which helps them know what we are teaching them about how the Earth and astronomy works is real.

“It just makes it a little more real and brightens up what we do with our

science time. We also embed science into our reading programs, and this is an opportunity to introduce that a bit more and get science going.”

LeCompte said she had her own eclipse experience while attending Cassville schools.

“I saw the eclipse in 1972 out in front of Eunice Thomas Elementary,” she said. “We din’t know as much about it back then, so we looked through the bottoms of glass bottles and with pinhole viewers. Now, the kids [were] all talking about it and the teachers [were] excited, some of them even wearing eclipse T-shirts.”

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