Elementary school students learn about solar eclipse

10 months 3 weeks 4 days 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
(CNN Money) -- Amazon has successfully invented a new shopping holiday, and it's set to capitalize on the rewards. ... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, July 15 2018 Jul 15, 2018 Sunday, July 15, 2018 5:19:00 PM CDT July 15, 2018 in News
CHICAGO (AP) — Footage from body cameras and surveillance cameras shows that a man who was shot and killed by... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, July 15 2018 Jul 15, 2018 Sunday, July 15, 2018 11:07:56 AM CDT July 15, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A proposed ballot initiative aims to replace Missouri's system for drawing state legislative districts with a... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, July 15 2018 Jul 15, 2018 Sunday, July 15, 2018 10:46:43 AM CDT July 15, 2018 in News
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The amount of water being released into the lower Missouri River will likely remain above normal... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, July 15 2018 Jul 15, 2018 Sunday, July 15, 2018 10:27:00 AM CDT July 15, 2018 in News
MORGAN COUNTY - 37-year-old Brett Davidson of Clarksville, Tennessee was pronounced dead after drowning in the Lake of the Ozarks,... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, July 15 2018 Jul 15, 2018 Sunday, July 15, 2018 9:53:00 AM CDT July 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- Senator Claire McCaskill and Attorney General Josh Hawley both met with supporters and volunteers Saturday at each of their... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, July 14 2018 Jul 14, 2018 Saturday, July 14, 2018 10:43:00 PM CDT July 14, 2018 in Continuous News
JEFFERSON CITY - A 17-year-old from Jefferson City will be competing at the CrossFit Games in Madison, Wisconsin, in August.... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, July 14 2018 Jul 14, 2018 Saturday, July 14, 2018 6:50:00 PM CDT July 14, 2018 in Sports
COLUMBIA - House hunters are looking beyond Columbia due to a lack of middle-income housing in the city. Realtor... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, July 14 2018 Jul 14, 2018 Saturday, July 14, 2018 5:00:00 PM CDT July 14, 2018 in News
(CNN Money) -- Microsoft has helped innovate facial recognition software. Now it's urging the US government to enact regulation to... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, July 14 2018 Jul 14, 2018 Saturday, July 14, 2018 3:22:00 PM CDT July 14, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA — Seven cases of cyclosporiasis in Missouri may be linked to eating McDonald's salads, the Missouri Department of Health... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, July 14 2018 Jul 14, 2018 Saturday, July 14, 2018 2:33:00 PM CDT July 14, 2018 in News
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The U.S. homeland security secretary said on Saturday there are no signs that Russia is targeting this... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, July 14 2018 Jul 14, 2018 Saturday, July 14, 2018 2:20:00 PM CDT July 14, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- A paragliding protester hovered within surprising proximity of President Donald Trump on Friday night as the president admired... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, July 14 2018 Jul 14, 2018 Saturday, July 14, 2018 1:38:05 PM CDT July 14, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Some Missouri nurses will soon be able to take advantage of a pilot program that allows... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, July 14 2018 Jul 14, 2018 Saturday, July 14, 2018 11:00:00 AM CDT July 14, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- If movie-streaming seems like Goliath, Blockbuster video store owners are an industry's Davids still fighting to keep the... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, July 14 2018 Jul 14, 2018 Saturday, July 14, 2018 8:29:00 AM CDT July 14, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Elder law attorneys and the Department of Health and Senior Services are warning the community to keep a... More >>
2 days ago Friday, July 13 2018 Jul 13, 2018 Friday, July 13, 2018 9:37:00 PM CDT July 13, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- A Chinese spy ship is currently spying on a major US-led military exercise off the coast of Hawaii,... More >>
2 days ago Friday, July 13 2018 Jul 13, 2018 Friday, July 13, 2018 8:29:00 PM CDT July 13, 2018 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - An investigation into the theft of trailers, ATV’s, farm equipment and other items in Callaway County lead... More >>
3 days ago Friday, July 13 2018 Jul 13, 2018 Friday, July 13, 2018 6:29:00 PM CDT July 13, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A man fell about 15 feet from a concrete wall into the creek at Flat Branch Park Friday... More >>
3 days ago Friday, July 13 2018 Jul 13, 2018 Friday, July 13, 2018 5:44:00 PM CDT July 13, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 90°
8pm 89°
9pm 85°
10pm 83°
11pm 81°