At Miamitown Elementary, the eclipse was more than simply about science - it was also a way for the school's fifth graders to demonstrate core values and to hone their leadership skills.
Thanks to Steve and Donna Brickner, who served as "guest scientists," the students were urged to think about what happens during the eclipse and why it is such a big deal. Students then acted out various demonstrations on why people shouldn't look at the sun during the eclipse. Then, using a "train the trainer" model, the students in turn helped the 3rd and 4th graders as Mr. Brickner also presented to them. The 5th grade then helped and demonstrated for the 1st and 2nd grades and assisted those in the younger grades to prepare their viewing boxes.
During the actual eclipse, students lined up by grade level to view the eclipse thru our safe viewing projection boxes. The fifth graders again took the led, as they created chalk art pieces to predict what the cornea (the ring surrounding the moon) would look like at a 91% eclipse. They compared their artwork with actual pictures from NASA and measured the light level and its correlation with the dropping temperatures during phases of the eclipse.
According to teacher Dana Stafford, "Our 5th graders have been great leaders and role models througout our preparation. We are very proud of them. It was a great opportunity for them to learn through the process and to feature the cooperative learning that has been taking place. Our 5th graders have pledged that they will protect, respect, help, and be role models for our school - and they're already doing a great job at it!"