The light from a solar eclipse has the ability to damage a person’s retina, so the school provided special solar-eclipse-viewing glasses for all students.
“We purchased the eclipse glasses fairly late in the summer,” says Don Owen, superintendent of the school district. “We ended up purchasing 5000 eclipse glasses at about $0.70/pair. That was enough for every student and staff member. We wanted to ensure that we had proper eye protection for every person in USD116 who wanted to view this incredible event.”
A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between Earth and the sun and obscures the image of the sun. A total solar eclipse is different from other solar eclipses because it occurs when the sun is completely covered by the moon. In other solar eclipses, the sun is only partially covered.
“This is a historical moment that I think all young people should experience once in our short and beautiful lives,” says Chase H. Powers, UHS Junior.
Powers wasn’t the only one to feel this way. Gasps and cheers could be heard all across the bleachers as the eclipse reached it peak, and many students struggled to get a closer look. However, not all students were as satisfied with the experience as the majority.
“It was not what I was expecting because in previous classes before the eclipse they hyped it up a lot,” says freshman Ala Radwan. “I thought the sky would get darker and it’d be more of an exciting event.”
Some students complained about hurting their necks. Others hurt their eyes after accidentally looking at the sun without their viewing glasses, and some students simply didn’t think it was worth the hype.
The next total solar eclipse won’t occur until April of 2024, so even if there were some complaints, this was certainly a rare and memorable experience for all.
Quotes and photo courtesy of Zoe LaVigne