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Eclipse presents fun learning opportunity for students

Vice Principal Amy Winston wears her custom NNHS Solar eclipse T-Shirt during North’s viewing party April 8, 2024
Maddie Ngo
Vice Principal Amy Winston wears her custom NNHS Solar eclipse T-Shirt during North’s viewing party April 8, 2024

NNHS students and staff gathered on Dickinson Field for a watch party of the partial solar eclipse that fell over Newton April 8, beginning at 2:16 p.m. and peaking at 3:30 p.m.  Students were able to safely view the eclipse through PTO-funded eclipse glasses, which were distributed during E-Block.

A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth, casting a shadow over parts of Earth and blocking the face of the Sun for observers in those locations. According to NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

“We will not have another eclipse in this area for the next 70 years, so watching it is an experience that every child should be able to have, as it could only happen once in a lifetime,” said physics teacher Kim Mayer.  

According to NASA, Newton last fell into the path of totality in 2017, and it won’t again until 2079. 

“There are lots of fun ways to participate in the viewing, like looking through pinhole viewers or making viewing cards, like Plowshares is,” said Mayer.

Physics teacher Matt Anderson gave students one such opportunity by photographing the eclipse.

 “I mounted my camera to a telescope to try and take some photos of the eclipse, and I have the monitor so everyone can see. As a hobbyist photographer, I think it is really cool to get the chance to photograph something like this and share it with my class,” said Anderson.

Sophomore Micah Klein filmed the viewing party for NNHS TV Media Arts.

“I thought it was a really cool event and I think it is great that the school gave everyone the opportunity to come and see a very rare moment and it was very fun to be able to film it as well,” said Klein.

The glasses were requested by Mayer last spring, which the PTO approved June 2, 2023.  

“The glasses are about equity and allowing all students to see the Eclipse. Some students were able to travel to areas of 100% totality, like Texas and Vermont, which is super awesome, and ultimately, the eclipse is something everybody should be able to engage with and enjoy no matter their situation,” said Mayer. “If you find eclipses interesting and want to learn more, I would recommend taking North’s astronomy class, which offers a wonderful opportunity to learn more about stars, planets and their alignment,” she added. 

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About the Contributor
Maddie Ngo, News editor
Maddie Ngo is currently a freshman at Newton North High School. One of her passions is competitive rock climbing, and she represents the Freshman class on Newton North High School's SFA. In her free time, she likes to *try* to learn languages. At the moment, she is learning Spanish and Vietnamese, the latter of which is spoken by much of her extended family. Maddie also enjoys reading and baking with her family and friends. Maddie has two pets, a dog named Izzy and a lizard named Spotsir (because he has spots). Maddie has always loved climbing things, rock climbing just happened to be her parents' way of keeping her out of the neighbors trees. Her favorite subjects in school are Science, English and Spanish. She is looking forward to a great year on Volume 102!
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