Elementary school students learn about solar eclipse

10 months 21 hours 17 minutes 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 - The 600 block of Monroe Street will be closed until Friday. Construction crews are removing a retaining... More >>
3 days ago Monday, June 18 2018 Jun 18, 2018 Monday, June 18, 2018 2:20:00 PM CDT June 18, 2018 in News
BOONE COUNTY - A death, a huge cache of weapons and a suspect whose gun jammed as he was aiming... More >>
3 days ago Monday, June 18 2018 Jun 18, 2018 Monday, June 18, 2018 2:17:00 PM CDT June 18, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Gov. Mike Parson appointed state Senate Majority Floor Leader Mike Kehoe to be the new lieutenant... More >>
3 days ago Monday, June 18 2018 Jun 18, 2018 Monday, June 18, 2018 1:15:00 PM CDT June 18, 2018 in News
BOONVILLE - Jesse Viertel Memorial Airport may reach new heights after the city council accepted a bid and authorized a... More >>
3 days ago Monday, June 18 2018 Jun 18, 2018 Monday, June 18, 2018 12:42:00 PM CDT June 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - City public works crews will be repairing a road buckle on Providence Road between Blue Ridge Road and... More >>
3 days ago Monday, June 18 2018 Jun 18, 2018 Monday, June 18, 2018 11:39:00 AM CDT June 18, 2018 in News
BALLWIN (AP) — Another bear sighting has people concerned in part of Missouri, but this time, it's deep into... More >>
3 days ago Monday, June 18 2018 Jun 18, 2018 Monday, June 18, 2018 9:45:39 AM CDT June 18, 2018 in News
BOONE COUNTY – The Katy Trail will see more bike traffic than usual this week with the 2018 Katy Trail... More >>
3 days ago Monday, June 18 2018 Jun 18, 2018 Monday, June 18, 2018 7:33:00 AM CDT June 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia is under a heat advisory until Monday evening. The National Weather Service issued the advisory on... More >>
3 days ago Sunday, June 17 2018 Jun 17, 2018 Sunday, June 17, 2018 9:29:00 PM CDT June 17, 2018 in News
FULTON - Forty people with disabilities will learn how to ride a two-wheel bicycle at the iCan Bike camp this... More >>
3 days ago Sunday, June 17 2018 Jun 17, 2018 Sunday, June 17, 2018 9:18:00 PM CDT June 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Missouri is the first and only state to define "meat" as exclusively animal product. The Missouri General... More >>
4 days ago Sunday, June 17 2018 Jun 17, 2018 Sunday, June 17, 2018 4:55:00 PM CDT June 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The city will discuss the results of the 2017 Community Survey at Monday's city council meeting. Used... More >>
4 days ago Sunday, June 17 2018 Jun 17, 2018 Sunday, June 17, 2018 4:06:00 PM CDT June 17, 2018 in News
ROCHEPORT - The Sunny Oaks Charity Horse Show brought about 20 riders out Sunday afternoon to compete for ribbons and... More >>
4 days ago Sunday, June 17 2018 Jun 17, 2018 Sunday, June 17, 2018 3:36:00 PM CDT June 17, 2018 in News
SPRINGFIELD - A Hickman High School graduate has surrounded herself with Kewpies. The dolls' trademark round eyes watch happily from... More >>
4 days ago Sunday, June 17 2018 Jun 17, 2018 Sunday, June 17, 2018 8:05:00 AM CDT June 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Hundreds of people impacted by cancer gathered together on a track Saturday in support of cancer fighters and... More >>
4 days ago Saturday, June 16 2018 Jun 16, 2018 Saturday, June 16, 2018 10:11:00 PM CDT June 16, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A podiatrist with the Jefferson City Medical Group is the first doctor in Missouri to use a... More >>
5 days ago Saturday, June 16 2018 Jun 16, 2018 Saturday, June 16, 2018 6:42:00 PM CDT June 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - At "Shred Fest," a local skateboarding competition, keeping participants safe was a top concern. An organization provided free... More >>
5 days ago Saturday, June 16 2018 Jun 16, 2018 Saturday, June 16, 2018 6:18:00 PM CDT June 16, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON, D.C. (CNN) - President Donald Trump suggested Saturday that he is using his administration's separation of families at the... More >>
5 days ago Saturday, June 16 2018 Jun 16, 2018 Saturday, June 16, 2018 3:14:00 PM CDT June 16, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A second sheriff's deputy died early Saturday from injuries suffered when an inmate... More >>
5 days ago Saturday, June 16 2018 Jun 16, 2018 Saturday, June 16, 2018 6:45:00 AM CDT June 16, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 67°
9pm 67°
10pm 66°
11pm 66°
12am 65°