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Safety tips, resources available for eclipse viewing

All Districts — Many students will gather to view the total solar eclipse on Monday, April 8, taking advantage of the rare opportunity to observe the exciting astronomical event from their schoolyards. 

The event in Kent County is scheduled to start with a partial eclipse beginning at 1:55 p.m., with 94 percent coverage of the sun at 3:11 p.m., and turning back into a partial eclipse until 4:24 p.m.

According to information from Wendi Vogel, Kent ISD science education consultant, total solar eclipses are actually pretty common; there is one about every 18 months. However, they are rarely visible in the same place repeatedly (about every 330 years), which makes it a special event.

Due to the timing of the eclipse, which is during many schools’ dismissal times, safety is key. Here are some tips:

  • Do not look directly at the sun anytime before, during or after the event without protective eyewear. 
  • Ensure viewing glasses are certified for solar eclipse viewing. 
  • Pinhole viewers are encouraged to view the eclipse in shadow form if glasses are unavailable.
  • Colanders can also be used to view the eclipse.
  • Find a family with a telescope with a solar filter and have them come to the school for viewing if available. 

Resources to use and share

Many science communities have gathered resources to support the education and viewing of the eclipse, according to Vogel. See resources here.

Read more: 
Enrollment now open for Great Start Readiness Program
Kent ISD STEAM educator event targets connection, collaboration

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Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese is managing editor and reporter, covering Kentwood, Lowell and Wyoming. She was one of the original SNN staff writers, helping launch the site in 2013, and enjoys fulfilling the mission of sharing the stories of public education. She has worked as a journalist in the Grand Rapids area since 2000. A graduate of Central Michigan University, she has written for The Grand Rapids Press, Advance Newspapers, On-the-Town Magazine and Group Tour Media. Read Erin's full bio


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