Westside Experiences 2017 Solar Eclipse
Thousands of students and staff members across Westside Community Schools witnessed the 2017 Solar Eclipse thanks to a dedicated team of educators and the Westside Foundation.
Westside High School teacher and PAEMST Award Winner Angela Bergman began work two years ago to secure NASA approved glasses for every single student and staff member within Westside Community Schools. Bergman also researched and collected materials spanning all curricular areas, including science, history, english and more. Thanks to those efforts and a significant donation from the Westside Foundation, all students K-12 were invited to witness this historic event.
“During the event in Omaha, students will be able to observe the darkened disk of the sun, change of temperature, and change in insect and animal behavior,” said Bergman. “School districts across the state will be helping students gain the most they can from this rare opportunity. Thanks to the Westside Foundation, all students and staff of the Westside Community school district will receive a set of safety rated eclipse viewing glasses. In addition, K-12 students will also receive a set of UV beads to qualitatively measure the change in the incoming UV light. Teachers will have access to lessons in science, math, art and social studies.”
Administrators, building principals, and teachers organized plans at each school to ensure students viewed the eclipse safely or learned from the event indoors. Classes were allowed to go outside throughout first contact, maximum eclipse and beyond. Students who stayed inside viewed a live stream provided by NASA and used provided learning materials, resources shared with school districts across the country thanks to Bergman. Superintendent Blane McCann spent the eclipse with learners at Rockbrook and Prairie Lane Elementary Schools, while Board of Education member Doug Krenzer watched with students at Loveland Elementary. Swanson Elementary Principal Jennifer Harr had speciality shirts made and Westside Middle School teacher Kristen Job took a group of students to Homestead National Monument.
“We are thrilled to be part of this wonderful project!” said Laura Iliff, President of the Westside Foundation. “This is exactly what our mission at the Westside Foundation is, is to enrich students’ lives by offering them exceptional opportunities both in and out of the classroom!”
We are grateful to the Westside Foundation for continuously funding enrichment opportunities for students at Westside Community Schools! Click here to learn more and how you can help.