Eyes on the Sky: Wright City East Elementary Students view partial eclipse

By Jack Underwood, Staff Writer
Posted 4/12/24

Wright City East Elementary students were temporarily released from class to view the eclipse Monday afternoon.

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Eyes on the Sky: Wright City East Elementary Students view partial eclipse


Wright City East Elementary students had an abnormal school day on Monday. Instead of many of their normal classes, much of their time that day was dedicated to the partial solar eclipse that passed overhead that afternoon. 

The day started with an assembly on the eclipse and students were also instructed in their individual classes on the science behind the cosmic event. They also received careful orders from teachers on how and when to wear their protective glasses to view the phenomenon safely. 

Mrs. Carley Pirkle’s kindergarten class even went outside that morning with their glasses to practice. 

Many parents were also in attendance with their children for the event and laid on the grass with them as the sun and moon crossed paths overhead. 

It was a first for most of the students in attendance since they were either very young - or had not been born yet - the last time a solar eclipse passed through Missouri in 2017. 

Students gasped, yelled and pointed as they were escorted outside to don their glasses and look up at the sky. One student remarked, “it looks like a banana!” referring to the last remaining rays of the sun that peeked from behind the moon as the eclipse neared its totality. 

While Wright City did not lie in the direct path of the totality, students, parents and teachers alike were still treated to a show as much of the eclipse was visible through protective lenses. Even from outside the path of totality the sky darkened noticeably. 

One teacher, Mrs. Jordan McNulty was excited that her first grade students got to experience such a rare natural phenomenon. While they had eclipse-focused lessons it was difficult for some of her students to wrap their heads around the concept. 

“They didn’t really grasp it until they saw it,” McNulty said. 

The next time these students see an eclipse they may be joining their own children at the elementary school when the next one passes over the U.S. in 2044.