Focused attention: St. Peter students study Solar Eclips

Published 12:02 am Saturday, August 26, 2017

RESERVE — The Solar Eclipse made for a super science day at St. Peter Catholic School in Reserve.

During the solar eclipse the students were making the climb in Science by viewing the eclipse and participating in three experiments using UV Radiation Beads, Solar Filters and Pin Hole Camera Viewers.

Third graders Amairi Breaux, Drew Aucoin, Tristen Saijias and Da’shawn Anderson display their viewing glasses.

Since  Louisiana did not experience eclipse totality, it was important for students to know the dangers  in viewing the sun. Students learned by making bracelets with ultra-violet radiation beads that change color when exposed to UV rays. Wearing these beads allowed students to observe when they were experiencing UV radiation.

Each time the students went outside to observe the solar eclipse, they checked their bracelet to see if they were being exposed to UV rays. The students observed they were consistently exposed to ultra-violet radiation, even when the sun was 75 percent blocked by the moon.

Students experiment with the UV bracelets made during science class.

Furthermore, the students were fortunate to experience viewing the eclipse through solar filter glasses, purchased  using a grant from Ecolab. In class, students discussed distances between the Earth, sun and moon and their relative sizes.
Students determined the relative closeness of the moon to Earth, knowing the size of the sun and then used the solar filtered glasses to look at the light bulbs in the gym and compared that to the brightness of the sun through the glasses.
Finally, the fifth grade students made Pin Hole Camera Viewers using a NASA tutorial. They cut a large hole in cardstock, taped tin foil over the hole and poked a very small pin hole in the foil.
These viewers were held up under the sun onto the concrete, and the students observed the refracting light.
Using the Pin Hole Viewing Cameras, the students were able to track and trace the progress of the moon as it crossed the sun.