Students take in the total(ity) eclipse experience


The moment of totality as observed from Freeburg High School. (O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Nick Miller)

Students from Carriel Junior High school observe the beginning of the eclipse through their safety glasses. (O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Nick Miller)

FREEBURG- Nearly 800 students, teachers, and chaperones from O’Fallon set up camp on the baseball fields of Freeburg High School to view the Great American Solar Eclipse on Monday.

The field trip, which according to Carriel Principal Ellen Hays is the largest they’ve ever taken, was designed to give students the opportunity to see the eclipse in totality, where the moon fully covers the sun. Hays said the schools had planned on using the eclipse as a learning opportunity, but had initially discounted the idea of a field trip.

Students from Fulton Junior High School take notes about their observations as the eclipse begins. (O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Nick Miller)

“Last year, when the teachers started to say we needed to do something for the eclipse, I said ‘Ok let’s start planning something on site.’ They said we needed to do a field trip and I told them that wasn’t possible with 700 kids,” said Hays.

It was only two weeks ago that plans began to form for Monday’s excursion. Hays said it all began when teachers Amanda Mellenthin and Angie Piening attended a training workshop at the Regional Office of the Superintendent.

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