On Monday, August 21, eighth graders at Reynolds Middle School in Prosper were escorted outside with their science classes to view the solar eclipse. With maximum eclipse visibility reaching North Texas at 1:09 p.m., students filed outside with special glasses shortly after 1 to take part in the viewing.
Eighth grade science teacher Amy Ousley explained that the students had been taught about the eclipse before the viewing. Ousley, along with fellow eighth grade science teachers David Elizondo and Jessica Simpkinson, led their respective classes to the field outside of the school for the showing.
“On Friday and today, we taught the students all about the solar eclipse,” said Ousley.
Learning about the eclipse was in line with the eighth grade curriculum, which was why the eighth grade students were permitted to view the eclipse, while the sixth and seventh graders were not. Ousley stated that the lesson fit in with the eighth grade state educational standards.
“We talked about how it’s a new moon, it’s in between the sun and the Earth and how it blocks it out,” said Ousley about the coverage of the class lessons.
The students also learned about the viewing point of the eclipse, which was not in the direct path for residents of North Texas, as well as the tilt of the Earth.
Website Time and Date, which charted peak viewing for the eclipse, chronicled that the partial eclipse in North Texas began at 11:40 and ended at 2:39, with the moon being closest to the sun at the 1:09 prime viewing period.
All students from the three eighth-grade science classes were present at the viewing, unless they chose to opt out or were absent for personal reasons.
“All the eighths graders were taught everything they needed to know, so no matter what class they walked out here with they already had that knowledge of what’s going on,” Ousley said in relation to the educational experience.