Elementary school students learn about solar eclipse

1 year 4 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
WASHINGTON (AP) — Staring down the next deadline to pay federal workers, the White House shifted tactics, trying to bypass... More >>
1 hour ago Wednesday, January 16 2019 Jan 16, 2019 Wednesday, January 16, 2019 4:57:00 AM CST January 16, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Mayoral incumbent Brian Treece and opponent, Chris Kelly, faced off in the second mayoral candidate forum Tuesday. ... More >>
9 hours ago Tuesday, January 15 2019 Jan 15, 2019 Tuesday, January 15, 2019 9:27:00 PM CST January 15, 2019 in News
Watch KOMU 8 newscasts and download the KOMU WX app for live coverage and alerts. COLUMBIA - Another winter... More >>
10 hours ago Tuesday, January 15 2019 Jan 15, 2019 Tuesday, January 15, 2019 8:30:00 PM CST January 15, 2019 in Weather
OVERLAND (AP) — The Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis is investigating a fatal shooting outside a McDonald's restaurant... More >>
14 hours ago Tuesday, January 15 2019 Jan 15, 2019 Tuesday, January 15, 2019 4:37:00 PM CST January 15, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - A new bill before the Senate would ban texting and driving for drivers of all ages. It's... More >>
14 hours ago Tuesday, January 15 2019 Jan 15, 2019 Tuesday, January 15, 2019 4:24:00 PM CST January 15, 2019 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Kansas City police say people at one address fired 360 shots from at least nine guns... More >>
15 hours ago Tuesday, January 15 2019 Jan 15, 2019 Tuesday, January 15, 2019 3:46:00 PM CST January 15, 2019 in News
OSAGE BEACH – A Sunrise Beach woman who worked at a Zales Outlet Store admitted to stealing a diamond bracelet... More >>
15 hours ago Tuesday, January 15 2019 Jan 15, 2019 Tuesday, January 15, 2019 3:43:00 PM CST January 15, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- The woman accused of killing 4-year-old Darnell Gray waived the formal reading on her arraignment on Tuesday and... More >>
15 hours ago Tuesday, January 15 2019 Jan 15, 2019 Tuesday, January 15, 2019 3:00:00 PM CST January 15, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - When Tiwan Lewis lost her home to a fire in December 2017, she found herself experiencing homelessness.... More >>
15 hours ago Tuesday, January 15 2019 Jan 15, 2019 Tuesday, January 15, 2019 2:55:00 PM CST January 15, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A central Missouri prosecutor's office has been ordered to pay $36,000 for failing to provide records... More >>
16 hours ago Tuesday, January 15 2019 Jan 15, 2019 Tuesday, January 15, 2019 2:23:00 PM CST January 15, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY, (AP) — Missouri House lawmakers on Tuesday voted against protections for LGBT staffers and gave themselves the option... More >>
16 hours ago Tuesday, January 15 2019 Jan 15, 2019 Tuesday, January 15, 2019 2:09:00 PM CST January 15, 2019 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Authorities have arrested a man in the killing of his girlfriend in a Springfield home with two... More >>
17 hours ago Tuesday, January 15 2019 Jan 15, 2019 Tuesday, January 15, 2019 1:35:00 PM CST January 15, 2019 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Federal authorities say two homicides in northwest Missouri last year were linked to a large methamphetamine... More >>
17 hours ago Tuesday, January 15 2019 Jan 15, 2019 Tuesday, January 15, 2019 12:54:00 PM CST January 15, 2019 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City's public transit agency is offering free bus rides to federal workers ensnared... More >>
19 hours ago Tuesday, January 15 2019 Jan 15, 2019 Tuesday, January 15, 2019 11:47:00 AM CST January 15, 2019 in News
CARTHAGE (AP) — Court records say a Missouri man broke his 5-year-old daughter's leg after becoming enraged that she hadn't... More >>
19 hours ago Tuesday, January 15 2019 Jan 15, 2019 Tuesday, January 15, 2019 11:02:00 AM CST January 15, 2019 in News
OVERLAND (AP) — The Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis is investigating a fatal shooting outside a McDonald's... More >>
20 hours ago Tuesday, January 15 2019 Jan 15, 2019 Tuesday, January 15, 2019 9:51:00 AM CST January 15, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri House members will have the option to make some of their emails confidential, despite... More >>
21 hours ago Tuesday, January 15 2019 Jan 15, 2019 Tuesday, January 15, 2019 9:30:00 AM CST January 15, 2019 in News
ST. LOUIS - Former Democratic Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill began her first job Tuesday since being defeated by Republican Josh... More >>
23 hours ago Tuesday, January 15 2019 Jan 15, 2019 Tuesday, January 15, 2019 7:43:00 AM CST January 15, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 33°
7am 29°
8am 30°
9am 31°
10am 32°