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April 8 Eclipse: Appalachian schools seize the learning opportunity

April 8 Eclipse: Appalachian schools seize the learning opportunity

On April 8, students from the Appalachian Schools Service Center (CSS) had the opportunity to have an experience they will remember for a long time. Many activities were organized through area schools to highlight this day of total solar eclipse and provide the opportunity for young people to view it in groups.

While many educational institutions across the county decided to close their doors out of safety, those in Appalachia chose to use this special occasion as an educational vehicle. “The decision to keep schools open and embrace this extraordinary learning opportunity for students was a wise one. Our entire school community was able to benefit from this unique experience in complete safety,” noted CSS des Appalaches General Director, Jean Roberge.

Observation glasses were provided to every student and employee. On April 8, the organization distributed a thousand of them to citizens who were unable to obtain them for free. Many day care homes and nursing homes have been able to benefit from it.

Pierre Grollo, educational consultant at CSS des Appalaches, has been appointed as the person responsible for the eclipse file. The latter described the activity day as ideal, stressing that everything went well. “We did not receive any specific reports, there was only happiness,” he said in an interview with Courier-Frontenac.

While the highlight was of course observing the eclipse, many activities were organized surrounding this event: decorated schools, music, food trucks with beaver tails, snacks, drinks, photo booths, coloring, etc. Some also showed an on-screen display of the special live broadcast from ASTROLab in Mont-Mégantic as well as the conference held by astronaut David Saint-Jacques.

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In the secondary stage, a group of data related to the eclipse was organized. Students of the Creative Laboratory course at Polyvalente de Disraeli had actually programmed microcontrollers so that they would record light intensity and temperature every five seconds during the eclipse. They analyzed more than 5,000 pieces of data collected. According to their sensors, the temperature has dropped by up to 2 degrees Celsius.

In the weeks leading up to April 8, training was provided to teachers as well as students to learn more about this natural phenomenon. Presented by the “Discovery of the Universe” program and its director, Julie Bolduc Duvall. The students also made pinhole projectors to observe the eclipse.

“Observation continues in the classroom, especially through teaching and art projects. There are planets that were visible during the eclipse, so there are classes that have taken advantage of that to present material about the solar system.” […] “It was a great event for everyone and we are really happy about it.”

To see photos from several schools in the area: https://fb.watch/rp9GPrR37A/