Aug. 21 schedule changed to allow solar eclipse viewing
Conant students and faculty will get a chance to watch the upcoming total solar eclipse, the last eclipse able to be seen in Illinois until 2024. The eclipse, which takes place on August 21, will last from around 11:45 am to 2:45 pm.
In order to have time to view the eclipse, the school schedule has been modified so that classes will be 40 minutes long instead of 50. Students and faculty will go onto the football to view the eclipse for 25 minutes during seventh hour, when the maximum eclipse will occur. Before going outside, the teachers will show an informational video and will go over safety instructions provided by the American Astronomical Society.
Assistant Principal Mark Langer said, “Students will be supervised while on the field by staff.”
Physics teacher David Torpe said, “This will ensure that the students can experience the eclipse in an informed, safe manner.”
Each student will receive a pair of eclipse glasses in order to be able to watch the eclipse safely. The glasses that were purchased comply with the required ISO 12312-2 international safety standard.
Due to safety risks, gym and drivers’ ed classes will not be allowed outside during the eclipse.
Langer said, “All classes have been preparing lessons that center around the eclipse for Monday.”
Family and Consumer Sciences teacher Katherine Koopman said, “In our culinary classes, we will be recreating the phases of the moon with cookies and chocolate.”
She also added that style studio classes are using the eclipse as an inspiration for a recycled dress project they are working on. Physics teacher Martin Kulak is teaching his classes about why solar eclipses happen before going to view it.
Some students are even driving to other places in the Midwest where the eclipse viewing will be closer to 100%.
Hailey Schimpf, ‘18, said, “I’m heading to Perryville, Missouri, which is right in the path of totality. I get to have complete darkness for just under three minutes while at Conant you’re only going to get about thirty seconds.”
Whether watching it at Conant or somewhere else, many students and staff have expressed excitement at getting to be a part of this rare experience.
Leah Pope, ‘18, summed it up best when she said, “I have a feeling it’s not going to be something I’ll forget anytime soon.”