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Bonus Eclipse Episode: Fourth graders at Winchester Village preparing for total solar eclipse

April 07, 2024

The total solar eclipse will cross over Indianapolis on Monday, and many students are excited. Fourth-grade students and their teachers at Winchester Village Elementary are counting down the hours for when the skies turn dark during the April 8 eclipse. 

Juan Juarez-Smith, a fourth-grader at the school, says the excitement comes “because it’s once in a lifetime.”

And that’s the case for most of us gearing up for the eclipse. 

The students on Thursday learned about how a solar eclipse works with a class project. 

“The sun is bigger than the moon, so the moon is a little dot around the sun but to us, they’re the same,” Brailee Gale said.

Brailee and her other fourth-grade classmates also learned about the importance of wearing eye protection during the event. 

“You can’t look directly at it, you can get your eyes blinded, Brooklyn McClure said. “It’ll probably hurt, you won’t feel it, but after a couple of days you might feel it.”

These are just a few things students in Natasha Cummings’ class are learning about. 

Cummings, with Project Lead The Way at Winchester Village, says eclipses are one of her passions. She says it’s been exciting to share her love for them with her students.

“It’s great to see their excitement once they learn about what an eclipse is. And the elements that connect it and hearing ah-ha’s,” she said.

Cumming also shared with News 8 a message she’s been sharing with her students. “Even though this is a once in a lifetime, only one for totality that we’ll see, try not to miss it unless you’re one to find where the eclipses are. It’ll be exciting.”

Monday’s total solar eclipse is expected to hit the Indy region at 3:06 pm on April. The next one here in Indy won’t be for more than 100 years.