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Bakersfield elementary students experience their first solar eclipse

Posted at 6:07 PM, Apr 08, 2024

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Millions of Americans getting a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience a total solar eclipse. Meanwhile in Bakersfield, some local teachers took the chance to teach a once in a lifetime lesson.

  • Video shows students at Highgate Elementary learning about the solar eclipse and watching it safely with protective eye-wear.
  • In the Panama-Buena Vista Union School District, teachers took the unique opportunity to educate their students about the science behind the solar eclipse.

Millions of Americans getting a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience a total solar eclipse. Meanwhile in Bakersfield, some local teachers took the chance to teach a once in a lifetime lesson.

"In some places there's totality and totality means that the moon fully goes over the sun,” said Highgate Elementary student Patricia Rumbos.

Not bad for a second-grader.

While many flocked across states to witness the total solar eclipse, these youngsters stood in awe while the moon cast a partial shadow over the sun.

In the Panama-Buena Vista Union School District, teachers took the unique opportunity to educate their students about the science behind the solar eclipse.

Neighborhood News Reporter Veronica Morley interviewing 2nd Grade Teacher Kristin Ponche about how she prepared her students for the eclipse
Neighborhood News Reporter Veronica Morley interviewing 2nd Grade Teacher Kristin Ponche about how she prepared her students for the eclipse

"This is something completely new that they've probably never experienced,” said Second Grade Teacher Kristin Ponche.

Students at Highgate Elementary with protective eye-wear were able to go outside Monday between 10 a.m. and Noon to watch the eclipse in real time. Using the knowledge they've learned and applying it to the experience.

"The solar eclipse is a reminder of the vast universe we are a part of,” one student said during a reading theater about the eclipse.

Ponche kept her students inside out of safety, since not every class had the proper protective eyewear, but still made the day memorable and educational.

"The NASA livestream was a great way for them to still be able to learn about it and experience it while also being safe,” Ponche said.

Ponche said she hoped the eclipse was not only memorable for her students but helped in sparking a greater love of science.

"I've got one whose face just lit up, 'It's the solar eclipse today,’ and what would've just been a normal day to him has now been probably the most exciting day of the year."

That excitement will probably have to last them a while.

"You learned when the next solar eclipse will be so when is that?" I asked one student.

"2044,” answered second-grader Mason Dethloff.

"Do you know how old you're going to be then?" I followed-up.

“28,” he responded.

Hopefully, by then, these kids will still remember the safety tips they learned and have the proper eye-wear. Because, as second-grader Owen Dai taught us: "If you look at the sun without glasses, you'll go blind."

Who knows, maybe by then some of these kids will be teaching the next generation the science behind it.


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