The Great American Eclipse will be making its way across the entire continental United States on August 21. This is the first solar eclipse that has been visible across the United States since 1918. With such a monumental event occurring during the school day, the Starkville Oktibbeha Consolidated School District, working closely with Dr. Jessica Tegt who is the coordinator at the District’s Youth Environmental Science Program and STREAMS, will be conducting a viewing of the event for students who wish to participate in grades 2-8. Safety is our top priority, and it is important for students and parents to be aware of the precautionary steps the District is implementing for this event and viewing.
Homemade or ordinary sunglasses are not sufficient ways to view an eclipse, as the reflectivity and polarization are not high enough for viewing in a safe manner. To ensure that each participant is safe, SOCSD will be supplying those who wish to participate with a pair of glasses specifically designed for eclipse viewing. These glasses conform to the transmission requirements of ISO 12312-2, which are filters specifically designed for direct observation of the sun. We will be viewing a partial solar eclipse which will look like a fingernail/crescent shape at its greatest point. This means that glasses must be kept on at all times during viewing. Students should never look at the sun without special eye protection, and removing glasses even temporarily may have serious effects on your eyes.
Because of these safety concerns, a parent or guardian signature is required for students to participate in the event using the eclipse glasses. Students who do not complete this form will not be able to participate. Students in grades 2-8 should bring home a permission form on Thursday. Please sign it and return it to your child’s school/teacher if you would like for your child to participate in the eclipse viewing. Parents may also print the permission form and return it to your child’s school/teacher on Friday.
For more information about the eclipse, check out NASA’s website which provides a guide to this amazing event including activities, resources, broadcasts, safety information and more: https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/