MCS Prepares for Total Solar Eclipse

MCS Prepares for Total Solar Eclipse
Posted on 08/15/2017

Academic Coach Jill ArminioScience fans across the country are counting down the minutes until August 21, 2017 at 2:29pm. That’s when people across the United States will experience a Total Solar Eclipse. Mason City Schools learners can’t wait for this nearly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and have been making big plans to commemorate the occasion.

“The most memorable learning happens in real-time, in real-life. Our district’s science teachers are so excited to use this very rare solar eclipse as a teaching moment that we hope creates memories that last a lifetime!” says Jill Arminio, Mason City Schools Academic Coach. 

What Is It?
A Total Solar Eclipse is when the sun disappears behind the moon, turning daylight into twilight, ​and causes the temperature to drop rapidly and and you will see a fiery ring around the moon called the Corona.  This is the first Total Solar Eclipse since 1979, and we won’t see one again until April 8, 2024. Cincinnati is predicted to have 91% coverage, which will occur around 2:29pm.  View the timetable for Cincinnati

What’s Mason’s Plan?
Each school has purchased special Solar Eclipse glasses for all students, and there is an assigned teacher in charge of the events. Many thanks to Mason PTOS and the MHS National Honor Society who helped fund the safety glasses. Science teachers Shannon Sterle, Erin Chesar, Adam Bally, Renee McCord, and Megan Kappers have taken the reigns in making sure the experience is safe and educational. Teachers are excited to connect their science lessons to the Total Solar Eclipse. For example, in the seventh grade, students will need to identify the differences between a solar and lunar eclipse including relative position of the earth, sun and moon.

Mason Early Childhood Center
: All students will wear their protective glasses, and will witness the maximum coverage at 2:29pm in their designated fire drill location. MECC students’ glasses will be collected and disposed of following experts’ safety recommendations.

Western Row Elementary: At 1:45pm, all students will go outside the building, armed with their protective glasses and clipboards. They will sketch their observations of the eclipse in progress. All students will witness the maximum coverage at 2:29pm. Western Row students’ glasses will be collected and disposed of following experts’ safety recommendations.

Mason Intermediate School: At 1:50pm, all students will go outside the building, armed with their protective glasses and clipboards. They will sketch their observations of the eclipse in progress. All students will witness the maximum coverage at 2:29pm. Mason Intermediate students will take their protective glasses with them so that they can use them if/when they are outside until the eclipse is finished at 3:52pm. Parents should dispose of glasses later that evening in accordance with experts’ safety recommendations.

Mason Middle School: At 1:30pm, all students will go to Dwire Field at Atrium Stadium, armed with their protective glasses and clipboards. They will sketch their observations of the eclipse in progress. Mason Middle School students will take their protective glasses with them so that they can use them if/when they are outside until the eclipse is finished at 3:52pm. Parents should dispose of glasses later that evening in accordance with experts’ safety recommendations.

Mason High School: At 1:50pm, all students will go to their 7th bell Fire Drill locations, armed with their protective glasses. Students will be dismissed at 2:15pm, but invited to attend an Eclipse Viewing Party at the Baseball Diamond which will  continue throughout the eclipse. Mason High School students will take their protective glasses with them so that they can use them if/when they are outside until the eclipse is finished at 3:52pm. Parents should dispose of glasses later that evening in accordance with experts’ safety recommendations.

Safety Reminders
Students will be taught important safety lessons during the Eclipse that include:
Never directly look at the sun during a solar eclipse. 
Wear protective eclipse shades (sunglasses are not appropriate eyewear.)
Take breaks when viewing an eclipse to give your eyes a rest). 

Families who wish to opt out of having their child view the Total Solar Eclipse at school should complete an opt out form

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