Student looking at the solar eclipse with safety glasses on.

On April 8, students and staff across Buncombe County Schools were on pins and needles awaiting the viewing of the solar eclipse. The sky was set to showcase a rare celestial event, and students were eager to witness it firsthand.

Throughout the day, teachers curated engaging activities aimed at teaching students about the eclipse and the science behind it. In the afternoon hours around dismissal time, schoolyards transformed into an outdoor classroom, equipped with solar safety glasses and pinhole cameras. Some teachers even brought colanders from their kitchens, showing students how they could watch what was happening in the sky by monitoring shadows projected on pavement. The sun’s rays filtered through the clouds, casting a warm glow as the moon slowly began its journey across the sun.

Students and teachers, with their eyes protected, gathered in awe as they witnessed the mesmerizing celestial event. Students marveled at the beauty of the natural phenomenon. Hands-on activities leading up the event included the creation of pinhole cameras, eclipse artwork, science experiments, delicious treats, curating one of a kind stories, and of course a viewing party.

As the eclipse gradually ended and the sun’s brilliance returned through the clouds, the students exchanged enthusiastic chatter about what they had witnessed. For many, it was a once-in- a-lifetime experience that sparked a newfound curiosity about astronomy and the wonders of the universe. 

Photos are from the viewing parties held at Charles T. Koontz Intermediate and North Windy Ridge Intermediate.

Student looking at the eclipse with safety glasses on.