Mid-Missouri schools finalizing plans leading up to eclipse

6 months 2 weeks 2 days ago Wednesday, July 05 2017 Jul 5, 2017 Wednesday, July 05, 2017 3:00:00 PM CDT July 05, 2017 in Eclipse Planning
By: Joey Schneider, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA – As students prepare to make their return to public schools and universities next month, thousands in mid-Missouri will come back to lesson plans and activities on the coming total solar eclipse.

The eclipse will move in the path of totality in a 70 mile swath across Missouri. It is expected to move through the state shortly after 1 p.m. while hundreds of schools begin their first day or first full week of classes. 

“Eclipses happen somewhere on the planet every year, but they don’t happen in any given place very often,” MU director of astronomy Angela Speck said. “As the university, it’s our job to be able to provide educational opportunities, and it would be a huge shame if we didn’t make the most of it.”

Serving on the NASA Science Panel for the eclipse, Speck co-chairs part of a national task force that allows her to organize materials and resources necessary for teachers both within and outside the path of totality nationally.

She said classes have not been canceled for MU on eclipse day, although she has reached out to all faculty to reschedule classes on the first day as necessary for everyone on campus to experience the eclipse.

Speck said locations that look south without a building obstruction, such as Carnahan Quad and Traditions Plaza, will be prime viewing spots. But she expects campus to be much more crowded than even the busiest days at MU.

“One of the things I have to do at the national level is to help people figure out how to predict how many people are going to come, and how to handle that,” Speck said. “We are actually predicting that most places in the path of totality are going to double their population, and we could go as far as quadrupling the population just in terms of where and how good our location is.”

More than 30 public schools in Columbia will design age-appropriate activities and experiments for students leading up to the eclipse. The assignments could range from early-elementary students making paper plate models to high school students setting up digital experiments to learn about the eclipse’s effects on temperature and animal behavior.

Mike Szydlowski, Columbia Public Schools K-12 science coordinator, ordered 30,000 eclipse-viewing glasses for students and staff in the district. He said the administration is fine-tuning lesson plans to extend beyond the science department with educational opportunities for language arts, social studies and math.

He said it's important that students to get a complete perspective on the eclipse.

“We just want them to see that there is a rhyme and reason to what we know today,” Szydlowski said. “We don’t know everything, but in this case, we know quite a bit, and they’re going to be the next people who might learn those new discoveries.”

Smaller public school districts, including Miller County R-3 Schools in Tuscumbia, are just a few miles outside of totality and are preparing for a field trip to experience the eclipse in whole.

Randy Gum, K-12 principal for Miller County R-3 Schools, said he has worked with the superintendent and transportation department on a plan to bus up 200 students to a Jefferson City park. He said he wants to give the students a childhood memory, but also stimulate curiosity and life-long learning.

“This is a rare opportunity, so when you have this type of opportunity, you want to do everything you can to support the community,” Gum said. “The sun is out everyday, but this allows us to look at it with a new light and experience it first-hand.”

Other institutions if offering digital streams for those who may not experience the total eclipse first-hand. William Woods University in Fulton will set up a Facebook Live video display on a campus telescope and broadcast the sun during and after the total eclipse.

Joe Kyger, assistant professor of chemistry at William Woods, said the university would also provide optics to help students and faculty view the eclipse on campus, but said the telescope would provide a close view of the sun’s corona with help from a solar filter.

“We’re going to attempt to broadcast live out to all the areas with the Fulton community’s efforts so everyone can see what’s going on instead of one person at a time because that would not work with the time frame we have.”

William Woods is also leading a freshman orientation around a solar eclipse theme the week before. Kyger said the school’s events add to the anticipation of the total eclipse throughout mid-Missouri.

“It’s such an exciting natural phenomenon that it’s going to garner a lot of attention for the students,” Kyger said. “Anytime you can get a real tangible connection to the sciences, it’s a learning experience, and it gives us another opportunity to highlight our university.

More News

Grid
List
JEFFERSON CITY - People of all backgrounds filled the seats in the bottom of SSM Health St. Mary's Hospital to... More >>
4 days ago Monday, January 15 2018 Jan 15, 2018 Monday, January 15, 2018 4:46:00 PM CST January 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia's NAACP chapter hosted their annual 24th Martin Luther King, Jr. Day memorial program. The theme for... More >>
4 days ago Monday, January 15 2018 Jan 15, 2018 Monday, January 15, 2018 4:08:00 PM CST January 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Police say a man robbed the Best Buy on Worley Street and then held a customer and... More >>
4 days ago Monday, January 15 2018 Jan 15, 2018 Monday, January 15, 2018 1:10:16 PM CST January 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Dozens of drivers have slid off the road in central Missouri and the highway patrol says many of... More >>
4 days ago Monday, January 15 2018 Jan 15, 2018 Monday, January 15, 2018 1:02:00 PM CST January 15, 2018 in News
SEDALIA (AP) — Sedalia police have identified person(s) of interest and are following leads in the investigation of Heather... More >>
4 days ago Monday, January 15 2018 Jan 15, 2018 Monday, January 15, 2018 11:41:00 AM CST January 15, 2018 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - Columbia Police said Tuesday the suspects in a robbery at Hyvee on Nifong Boulevard also stole items from... More >>
4 days ago Monday, January 15 2018 Jan 15, 2018 Monday, January 15, 2018 11:18:00 AM CST January 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The NAACP will sponsor a walk in remembrance of Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday on Monday. The... More >>
5 days ago Sunday, January 14 2018 Jan 14, 2018 Sunday, January 14, 2018 9:30:00 PM CST January 14, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - People from all around the world come together to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr Day. Not... More >>
5 days ago Sunday, January 14 2018 Jan 14, 2018 Sunday, January 14, 2018 9:00:00 PM CST January 14, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – Over 100 people gathered for an event entitled “Critical Conversations in Troubled Times” at Second Missionary Baptist Church... More >>
5 days ago Sunday, January 14 2018 Jan 14, 2018 Sunday, January 14, 2018 8:41:00 PM CST January 14, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Public Works is preparing for overnight snow fall Monday with an 8-person plow crew.... More >>
5 days ago Sunday, January 14 2018 Jan 14, 2018 Sunday, January 14, 2018 7:01:00 PM CST January 14, 2018 in Top Stories
ASHLAND - The city of Ashland has grown from a small town of just 429 people to a bustling city... More >>
5 days ago Sunday, January 14 2018 Jan 14, 2018 Sunday, January 14, 2018 4:24:00 PM CST January 14, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - More than 500 future brides filled the Holiday Inn Executive Center on Sunday to attend the Super Wedding... More >>
5 days ago Sunday, January 14 2018 Jan 14, 2018 Sunday, January 14, 2018 1:38:00 PM CST January 14, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – The 13 th Circuit Court will be adding a Mental Health Track to the Drug Court in January.... More >>
5 days ago Sunday, January 14 2018 Jan 14, 2018 Sunday, January 14, 2018 1:24:00 PM CST January 14, 2018 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) - One Missouri county has hired a private firm to perform autopsies while it continues to search for... More >>
5 days ago Sunday, January 14 2018 Jan 14, 2018 Sunday, January 14, 2018 12:52:00 PM CST January 14, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The old location of LifeRock church cost too much, and the future location isn't yet finished, so the... More >>
5 days ago Sunday, January 14 2018 Jan 14, 2018 Sunday, January 14, 2018 12:52:00 PM CST January 14, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A man is in custody for shooting a Jefferson City resident on Saturday night. 20-year-old Marco... More >>
5 days ago Sunday, January 14 2018 Jan 14, 2018 Sunday, January 14, 2018 12:31:00 PM CST January 14, 2018 in Continuous News
LEBANON (AP) — A southern Missouri teacher has been arrested and charged with felony sexual contact with a student. ... More >>
5 days ago Sunday, January 14 2018 Jan 14, 2018 Sunday, January 14, 2018 11:48:41 AM CST January 14, 2018 in News
PLATTE CITY (AP) - A drunk driver who rear-ended another car, which killed the driver, on Interstate 29 in... More >>
5 days ago Sunday, January 14 2018 Jan 14, 2018 Sunday, January 14, 2018 11:43:00 AM CST January 14, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 36°
6am 35°
7am 37°
8am 39°
9am 41°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

5:00a
This Week in Mizzou Basketball
5:30a
On the Money
6:00a
KOMU 8 News Today
5:00a
Paid Program
5:30a
Paid Program
6:00a
Paid Program

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Will & Grace
7:30p
Superstore
8:00p
Dateline NBC
9:00p
Saturday Night Live
7:00p
Family Guy
7:30p
Family Guy
8:00p
Bob's Burgers
8:30p
Bob's Burgers
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld