Elementary school students learn about solar eclipse

1 year 2 months 3 weeks 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
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A jury has found a Wisconsin man guilty of first-degree murder for killing a Missouri mother who... More >>
3 hours ago Friday, November 16 2018 Nov 16, 2018 Friday, November 16, 2018 9:47:00 PM CST November 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Families filled empty shoeboxes with hygiene products, school supplies, clothes, shoes and toys for children in need at... More >>
4 hours ago Friday, November 16 2018 Nov 16, 2018 Friday, November 16, 2018 8:04:00 PM CST November 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The price of a typical Thanksgiving meal in Missouri is a full $5.25 higher than the national average.... More >>
5 hours ago Friday, November 16 2018 Nov 16, 2018 Friday, November 16, 2018 7:18:00 PM CST November 16, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The nature of Twitter and how government officials use it was at the heart of a hearing... More >>
8 hours ago Friday, November 16 2018 Nov 16, 2018 Friday, November 16, 2018 4:11:00 PM CST November 16, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS - The University of Missouri Board of Curators announced cuts to costs Friday to help with enrollment at... More >>
9 hours ago Friday, November 16 2018 Nov 16, 2018 Friday, November 16, 2018 3:24:00 PM CST November 16, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- USA Gymnastics' longtime chief operating officer has resigned, the organization said Friday, becoming the latest in a string... More >>
9 hours ago Friday, November 16 2018 Nov 16, 2018 Friday, November 16, 2018 2:56:27 PM CST November 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- A tree in downtown Columbia became the target of vandalism Thursday night when two men were caught on camera... More >>
9 hours ago Friday, November 16 2018 Nov 16, 2018 Friday, November 16, 2018 2:49:00 PM CST November 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Several groups in the City of Columbia are working to regulate and tax short-term rentals, such as Airbnb's.... More >>
11 hours ago Friday, November 16 2018 Nov 16, 2018 Friday, November 16, 2018 1:18:00 PM CST November 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A man suspected of stealing more than $46,000 from the Boone County Treasurer's Office in late 2017 is... More >>
12 hours ago Friday, November 16 2018 Nov 16, 2018 Friday, November 16, 2018 12:21:00 PM CST November 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Police arrested Dyran Hill, 23, of Columbia in connection with a robbery Thursday in the parking lot of... More >>
12 hours ago Friday, November 16 2018 Nov 16, 2018 Friday, November 16, 2018 12:11:00 PM CST November 16, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- The Department of Education on Friday proposed new rules for dealing with sexual harassment and assault on college... More >>
12 hours ago Friday, November 16 2018 Nov 16, 2018 Friday, November 16, 2018 11:55:52 AM CST November 16, 2018 in News
NEW YORK (AP) — Jennie-O Turkey recalled packages of ground turkey in a salmonella outbreak, and regulators say additional products... More >>
13 hours ago Friday, November 16 2018 Nov 16, 2018 Friday, November 16, 2018 10:58:02 AM CST November 16, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The week around Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel periods in the year. AAA projects... More >>
14 hours ago Friday, November 16 2018 Nov 16, 2018 Friday, November 16, 2018 10:16:00 AM CST November 16, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON, DC - The White House says it will "temporarily reinstate" the White House press credentials of CNN reporter Jim... More >>
15 hours ago Friday, November 16 2018 Nov 16, 2018 Friday, November 16, 2018 9:40:00 AM CST November 16, 2018 in News
MOBERLY - A pedestrian was struck and killed Thursday night on Highway 63 just south of Moberly, according to crash... More >>
19 hours ago Friday, November 16 2018 Nov 16, 2018 Friday, November 16, 2018 4:49:00 AM CST November 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- Out-of-state vehicles around the University of Missouri are having their license plates stolen. It’s been happening in garages... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, November 15 2018 Nov 15, 2018 Thursday, November 15, 2018 7:17:00 PM CST November 15, 2018 in News
CENTRALIA - Where would a man celebrating a half century of giving blood go to celebrate? Another blood drive... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, November 15 2018 Nov 15, 2018 Thursday, November 15, 2018 5:55:00 PM CST November 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- In a meeting this afternoon, Columbia City Manager Mike Matthes, apologized for the confusion surrounding the Columbia Police Department’s... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, November 15 2018 Nov 15, 2018 Thursday, November 15, 2018 5:17:00 PM CST November 15, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 39°
1am 34°
2am 34°
3am 34°
4am 34°