Students and Staff Experience Eclipse with Excitement and Awe

“Get the glasses on! Don’t look at the sun without your glasses!” shouted Ms. Jackie Rubalcava to her first-grade students as they walked out of their classroom at Rose Creek Elementary.

Outside on the pavement, Ms. Rubalcava’s students pressed their glasses against their heads, their gazes fixed on the sky. She guided them in a straight line, making sure everyone had a clear view, and transformed the eclipse into an engaging, live-action lesson.

“Wow! Does that look like first contact or second contact?” Ms. Rubalcava asked her students, who shouted back, “Second!”

Her classroom was among the many at Rose Creek Elementary that went outside Monday afternoon to watch the moon pass between the earth and the sun. As the eclipse cast a shadow, dimming the daylight, the students lit up with questions.

“It’s awesome,” said one first-grade student. “I like it. You can see the moon taking over, and I can kind of see the black in it, like a fourth part.”

From eager first-graders to science buffs in middle school, students of all ages embraced the eclipse. At Sunset Ridge Middle School, the clouds parted just in time for a great view. Other schools in the Jordan School District gave out protective eyewear to children heading out to recess, allowing them to look up when they wanted.

Watching the eclipse, as long as it was done safely with glasses, provided a fantastic learning opportunity for kids. The next total solar eclipse like this won’t be visible in the US until 2045. By then, Ms. Rubalcava’s first-grade class will be in their late 20s!