The solar eclipse is less than a week away and several Central Georgia school districts have taken different approaches to the big event.
Some school districts like Monroe and Jones have decided to dismiss students early, while Bibb and Houston are keeping their students later, saying they plan to use the eclipse as teachable moment.
At Weaver Middle School in Bibb County, the eclipse is already on the mind of its staff and students.
“We would be remiss to just let this event go by and not doing what we’re doing,” Latoria Vickers said. “We plan on doing it on a grand scale.”
Vickers is a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) teacher at Weaver. She says they're hosting an out-of-this-world experience STEM day on the 21st. They'll be incorporating the eclipse into all of their classes. They are also getting special resources from NASA to make it happen.
“One of the events is going to be an actual hands-on, right there in your face viewing of the eclipse,” Vickers said. “Those students have been provided with actual eclipse viewers.”
Those on the west side of town won’t be only ones to get to watch the eclipse happen. The Bibb County School district has ordered more than 20,000 pairs of eclipse glasses. That way, every student can watch it happen.
“It doesn’t matter how deep their scientific knowledge is, it doesn’t matter their age -- everybody can understand what’s happening and see the phenomenal event occur,” District Science Coordinator Brian Butler said.
He says plans for the day vary by school and they have a backup plan, too.
“They’re going to have opportunities to use the technology in the classroom to view the eclipse through the NASA live streaming site,” Butler said. “They can see the eclipse moving across the nation and that’s something that will work whether cloudy or sunny that day.”
Vickers hope the eclipse expertise will leave a lasting impact on the students at Weaver.
“Now we have something in science that’s a part of their lifetime, that they can make a connection with it something that they can take with them,” Vickers said, an opportunity that will likely come just once in a lifetime.