Monday, August 21, 2017, was supposed to be a day when area residents, students, and staff were able to see a solar eclipse which blotted out approximately 98% of the sun. Instead, what eclipse viewers saw were clouds, lots of clouds. Though the solar eclipse was blocked by heavy cloud cover schools in USD 475 were still able to use the event as a learning opportunity.
Sheridan Elementary hosted a variety of activities for students which included artwork made from colored chalk on black construction paper. Students used their hands to smudge a circle of chalk which gave the look of an eclipse in the color of each student’s choice. Students also learned how viewing the eclipse through a pinhole can project the image of the sun onto a sheet of paper. This method of viewing the eclipse was popular among people in the path not experiencing cloud cover.
Sheridan students and staff gathered on the playground and attempted to view the eclipse, however, they were only able to experience a slight dip in temperature and a slight darkness. Though the view was disappointing staff made sure to use the experience to educate students. Some residents in the area were able to see the eclipse through breaks in the clouds, although, most of the Junction City area experienced the cloud coverage.