With the coming of the Great Solar Eclipse capturing the attention of the nation, Trinity teachers planned and delivered lessons over the past week to “enlighten” students about the solar eclipse. The lessons kept all within our community from becoming overly concerned about the eclipse, and led students to understand the clockwork order of the universe and how scientists were able to predict the path and percentage of the eclipse that would be visible in Orlando. Students were kept in the shadows of our school walkways throughout the event to protect vision, but were not at all kept in the dark about the significance of the solar event.
Last week, students in the Middle School harnessed the power of the sun to melt chocolate and marshmallow S’mores in a solar oven, learning that the sun is the source of all energy. Throughout the day, teachers presented NASA live feeds of the totality from Oregon, Missouri, South Carolina, and even the International Space Station. Models were composed, and questions from students posed. The path of the moon across the states, the enormity of distances and relative sizes of the Sun and Moon, and the geometry of shadows captivated children and adults alike!
All the attention kicked off with a brief devotion at Morning Assembly about the immensity of God in creation (from the Book of Psalms in the Bible, and reprinted below). The 82% totality in Orlando was not directly observed by students, not even with special glasses; however at 2:50pm, with the eclipsed sun gleaming through the palm trees casting hundreds of crescent-shaped images of the Sun on our sidewalk in front of the main office, students could see, still under cover in the breezeway this natural pinhole/palm-tree camera, with the shape of the Sun at its smallest. And many astutely observed that the sky was not so bright as usual, and the temperature had dipped, all at what they learned was called the totality of the eclipse.
The wonder of the 2107 Solar Eclipse truly brightened our day and our understandings of the magnificent creation of God, for us all!
“O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name throughout the earth!
When I look at your heavens,
the creation of your fingers,
the moon and the stars that you have set in place—what is a mortal that you remember him or the Son of Man that you take care of him?” Psalm 8: 1-4
“From where the sun rises to where the sun sets,
the name of the Lord should be praised.
The Lord is high above all the nations.
His glory is above the heavens.
Who is like the Lord our God?” Psalm 113:3-5a
“O Lord, you know me.
You alone know when I sit down and when I get up.
You read my thoughts from far away.
You watch me when I travel and when I rest.
You are familiar with all my ways.
If I climb upward on the rays of the morning sun
or land on the most distant shore of the sea where the sun sets,
even there your hand would guide me
and your right hand would hold on to me….” Psalm 139:1-3, 9-10