Recognizing the opportunity afforded by the total solar eclipse on Monday, August 21, students at Girls Preparatory School will celebrate the natural wonder of the event from campus.
GPS Eclipse Day has been months in the making. Tracie Durham, science department chair, says the event has been a part of students’ summer reading and beginning-of-year curriculum. And because viewing a solar eclipse in your own hometown is a bit of an anomaly, how could GPS not capitalize on this learning experience?
"We've tailored this schoolwide event to build awareness and anticipation for students," Mrs. Durham says. "It's so special that this once-in-a-lifetime occurrence will happen right in our own backyard."
The girls will attend classes in the morning and then enjoy a picnic lunch on The Defoor Patio. From there, the entire student body and faculty will congregate on the lower athletic field at 1 p.m.
GPS considers the solar eclipse not only an opportunity to explore the science and physics behind the event, but also a chance to delve into how historical events have been impacted and myths inspired by previous eclipses. Teachers will include the eclipse in classroom activities and discussions—from science to art, English and history—leading up to the event. Who knew the eclipse was once blamed for the death of King Henry I in 1133? And that the element helium was discovered during the solar eclipse in 1868?
While students might experience other solar eclipses in their lifetime, the GPS Eclipse Day will be the girls’ only opportunity to experience this natural wonder from their downtown campus—complete with an eclipse-themed playlist, so they can “Soak Up the Sun” while enjoying discussions, fun, and fellowship.