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The Importance of the Solar Eclipse: a once-in-a-lifetime learning opportunity for students

By Sophia Nahorski

It was a clear day on Mon., April 8, 2024 when the second solar eclipse occurred in the 21st century. But, many classes at Batavia High School were not allowed to go outside to experience the solar eclipse. This was an incredibly disappointing moment for many because solar eclipses are very rare, the weather was perfect, and viewing the solar eclipse serves as an educational moment for students.

 The next eclipse that will come to the United States is not until 2044. Not only is it not for another 20 years, it will not be visible to Illinois. According to CBS, the 2044 solar eclipse will only be viewable from Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota. This means that students in 20 years who want to see the eclipse will have to skip school and travel to the closest state that has visibility. Many students will not be able to get this opportunity so it was important for students to view the solar eclipse while they were able to. 

The weather at Batavia was perfect for viewing the eclipse because the skies were completely clear. The sky may not be clear when our generation will get the chance to view another later in  their life. According to NBC, around 20 million people in the United States were not able to get a good view of the solar eclipse due to the weather. This shows that we were very lucky to have perfectly clear skies to get the best view of the eclipse possible. We do not know if the weather will be good for the next eclipse so it is important to take hold of the opportunity of good weather and make sure to appreciate it.

Some may say that it is dangerous for students to view it. They say that they can injure their eyes if they do not safely use the solar eclipse glasses. This all could have been avoided as long as teachers provided an opportunity for students to receive parental permission. As long as everyone is being safe, it was a very educational experience.

Allowing students to view the solar eclipse served as an incredible educational opportunity. It allows students to experience something they learn about in science class by bringing it to life. Students who viewed it were able to see it and learn about how this is a natural occurrence. Many other schools around the United States even held viewing parties. A school in New Jersey even purchased a special telescope for the eclipse for better viewing. According to CBS students at Elgin High School were interviewed after viewing the eclipse at school and were saying things like, “it’s honestly beautiful” and “this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.” Students at schools that were allowed to view the eclipse were grateful for their opportunity to see a rare event and learn more about it.

In all, students at Batavia High School should have been provided with the opportunity to view the solar eclipse. It was a great learning experience, there was perfect weather, and the next eclipse will not be for 20 years, and will not be viewable in Illinois. 

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