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A Lesson Plan Written in the Stars: The Eclipse at Convent & Stuart Hall

A Lesson Plan Written in the Stars: The Eclipse at Convent & Stuart Hall

Mathematics and astronomy teacher Colin Elliott reflects on the wondrous experience of the April 8 solar eclipse.

On April 8, like so many across the country and the globe, Convent & Stuart Hall students, faculty and staff paused and collectively turned their attention up. Here in northern California, our partial view of the solar eclipse lacked a 360-degree sunset, 4-minute darkness or dazzling visible corona. However, this did not stifle the true excitement, joy and sense of awe and wonder brought about by this unique celestial phenomenon.

Prepared with hundreds of eclipse glasses, a telescope and a space-themed shirt and tie, astronomy and mathematics teacher Colin Elliott ensured students, faculty and staff were able to appreciate and soak in this exciting event.

“Eclipses are one of those rare(ish) opportunities for people who don't normally engage with astronomy, who often take the Sun and the Moon for granted, to experience something special, and to see the familiar in a very new way. It is a great lesson in the celestial dance that goes on above our heads all the time, which the students in my Astronomy class (a senior elective course) had been studying in the weeks leading up to the event. It's nice when the Universe writes my lesson plan for me!

I'm always hopeful that these events inspire people to keep an eye on the sky, to remember there are entire worlds up there, with more mystery and wonder than we could imagine. The next partial eclipse for California is in 2029, but the Sun and Moon are there to be appreciated every day.”

– Colin Elliott, Mathematics Faculty

Two Convent Elementary students wearing safety glasses watching the eclipse in front of the Flood Mansion. View the full photo gallery by clicking the image above.