Elementary school students learn about solar eclipse

9 months 1 day 13 hours ago Sunday, August 20 2017 Aug 20, 2017 Sunday, August 20, 2017 2:38:00 PM CDT August 20, 2017 in News
By: Tess Vrbin, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - The total solar eclipse is coming on the fifth day of school, and Columbia teachers are trying to teach their students about it as best they can, particularly in elementary schools.

Columbia Public Schools provided its teachers with a wide variety of eclipse-themed activities and lessons for their classes. They cover almost every subject from math to social studies, but most are in science. District science coordinator Mike Szydlowski said it is usually hard to teach young students about something as abstract as outer space.

“One of the big things we’re pushing for is teaching science with phenomena,” Szydlowski said. “In other words, we shouldn’t just teach science for the sake of teaching science. We should teach it to explain something they actually get to see. And there’s no better phenomenon that I can think of when it comes to astronomy but a total solar eclipse.”

At Fairview Elementary School, Ragan Webb’s fourth-grade class has done hands-on activities such as “small moon, big sun,” she said. Each student held up a small object and tried to block their view of a globe with it. They had to stand all the way at the back of the classroom just to cover the entire globe with it. The goal of the activity was to model the size difference and the distance between the moon and sun.

Szydlowski said some students at some schools will use thermometers to track temperature changes throughout the day on Monday, and others will use small microphones to monitor the behavior of animals.

The eclipse fits into more than just the science curriculum. Some of the lesson plan options include art projects, reading articles about the eclipse and learning the history of what people used to believe about solar eclipses. Szydlowski said in past centuries, people were afraid of eclipses because they did not yet know the science behind them.

Both the eclipse and the interactive lesson plans have brought out enthusiasm in the students, Webb said.

“Whenever you can do something that makes the kids go, ‘Wow, why’d that happen?’, when you start kids asking questions about what they see, that is when real learning occurs,” she said.

Collin Wise and Ariana Willenberg, two of Webb’s fourth-graders, said they are excited about the eclipse and have learned a lot about it. Collin said it was interesting that the sun will still be shining when it’s dark and the stars will come out. Ariana said she learned that the moon’s orbit is not a perfect circle.

“If it were, every year we’d have an eclipse,” she said.

Szydlowski said some parents expressed concerns to the district that students might miss the eclipse. The district is requiring all students to be outside from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. on Monday to ensure everyone will experience the once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon.

More News

Grid
List
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens was pulled over Friday while speeding. Spokesman Parker Briden in a... More >>
8 hours ago Tuesday, May 22 2018 May 22, 2018 Tuesday, May 22, 2018 6:21:00 PM CDT May 22, 2018 in News
KAISER - One family says it is facing an immigration nightmare. Jia McDevitt's parents were detained at the Jacksonville, Florida, port... More >>
9 hours ago Tuesday, May 22 2018 May 22, 2018 Tuesday, May 22, 2018 5:20:00 PM CDT May 22, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - MUPD hosted a Citizen's Response to Active Threats training Tuesday. MU senior Olivia Botonis said learning about... More >>
9 hours ago Tuesday, May 22 2018 May 22, 2018 Tuesday, May 22, 2018 5:05:00 PM CDT May 22, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - Like actors rehearsing a script, Missouri lawmakers on Tuesday publicly read aloud the previously secret criminal... More >>
9 hours ago Tuesday, May 22 2018 May 22, 2018 Tuesday, May 22, 2018 4:35:00 PM CDT May 22, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- Missouri Lt. Gov. Mike Parson toured Columbia Tuesday afternoon to visit new business locations and talk about everything from... More >>
10 hours ago Tuesday, May 22 2018 May 22, 2018 Tuesday, May 22, 2018 3:42:00 PM CDT May 22, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - A Missouri environmental group is suing to overturn a law that lengthens the process the Department... More >>
11 hours ago Tuesday, May 22 2018 May 22, 2018 Tuesday, May 22, 2018 2:56:00 PM CDT May 22, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A jury trial in a wrongful death lawsuit in Carl DeBrodie's death is scheduled to begin March 2,... More >>
13 hours ago Tuesday, May 22 2018 May 22, 2018 Tuesday, May 22, 2018 1:20:00 PM CDT May 22, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia City Council failed to pass the controversial Henderson Branch sewer project in a 3-3 vote Monday... More >>
15 hours ago Tuesday, May 22 2018 May 22, 2018 Tuesday, May 22, 2018 10:49:00 AM CDT May 22, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The Latest on allegations against Gov. Eric Greitens (all times local): 5:35 p.m. ... More >>
16 hours ago Tuesday, May 22 2018 May 22, 2018 Tuesday, May 22, 2018 10:12:00 AM CDT May 22, 2018 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Springfield police say an 8-year-old girl who hadn't been seen since early Tuesday has been found... More >>
17 hours ago Tuesday, May 22 2018 May 22, 2018 Tuesday, May 22, 2018 8:36:00 AM CDT May 22, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - In the wake of the deadly Santa Fe High School shooting , the MU Police Department will be... More >>
18 hours ago Tuesday, May 22 2018 May 22, 2018 Tuesday, May 22, 2018 7:43:00 AM CDT May 22, 2018 in News
BRUSSELS (AP) — Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg faces senior European Union lawmakers later Tuesday to answer questions about a... More >>
21 hours ago Tuesday, May 22 2018 May 22, 2018 Tuesday, May 22, 2018 5:22:00 AM CDT May 22, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department said it found a missing teen around 1 a.m. Tuesday. Authorities said Brice... More >>
21 hours ago Tuesday, May 22 2018 May 22, 2018 Tuesday, May 22, 2018 4:41:00 AM CDT May 22, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia residents will have a chance to learn about - and talk about - climate change Tuesday night.... More >>
23 hours ago Tuesday, May 22 2018 May 22, 2018 Tuesday, May 22, 2018 3:00:00 AM CDT May 22, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - An on-going rift between two east campus communities has come to a breaking point. Non-resident property owners want... More >>
1 day ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 7:29:00 PM CDT May 21, 2018 in Top Stories
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A Kansas City man who told authorities he was hearing "voices" when he wounded two... More >>
1 day ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 7:07:41 PM CDT May 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - More than 670 motorcycles poured into the Phillips 66 gas station off I-70 as the "Run for the... More >>
1 day ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 6:05:00 PM CDT May 21, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A new fire station is in store for east Jefferson City, and the city council will review... More >>
1 day ago Monday, May 21 2018 May 21, 2018 Monday, May 21, 2018 5:10:00 PM CDT May 21, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 69°
3am 68°
4am 67°
5am 67°
6am 66°