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Science teachers takes students to Wyoming to see Eclipse

Wyoming is shaped like a square

Photo courtesy of Dr. Harrison

Photo courtesy of Dr. Harrison

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Although Denver was getting a 92% partial eclipse, that was not enough for physics teacher Dr. Clyde Oakley, That is why, five years ago, Oakley, science teacher Dr. Keith Harrison, and science teacher Whitney Mernitz, planned this once in a lifetime trip to Glendo, Wyoming.

“The difference between a partial and a total eclipse is immense,” Oakley said.

The trip taking these students into the shadow of totality of the great american eclipse gave them an insight into their own humanity.

During the two minute window of totality, the students shed their glasses to look at the unadulterated eclipse in what quickly became an eerie atmosphere.

“It got cold and dark and the crickets started chirping,” junior Cecilia Djunushbekova-Mino said.  

The moment felt powerful to Djunushbekova-Mino because of its enormity.

“It was unifying because I knew that millions of people were looking at it,” Djunushbekova-Mino said.  Watching the eclipse she knew that it was an event that was, “out of our control in a world where we all want to control things and where we are all divided.”

The light quickly faded as totality approached. Senior Megan Tunnell says that everything “was really weird, it happened faster than you expected it to.”

When totality finally covered the students in darkness, everyone’s eyes were fixed at a “a ring around the sun” Mino said. “It is really otherworldly”, Oakley stated.

Getting to school at 4:30 am and taking a 11 hour drive in a full bus was no easy task for many of the students.

”It was really funny because I hate car trips. I was like if I had to drive for 11 hours in one day I wouldn’t really want to go, “ Tunnell explained, “You only get to see so many of these in your lifetime so why not…Even though I didn’t like car ride it was such a moving experience that I would go anytime”.

Unfortunately not everyone was able to see totality.

Senior Alyea Caldwell, who remained in Colorado said, “I didn’t see it in totality; It was a let down, I was sad.”

Those who did get to see totality thought it was incredible

“It was absolutely worth it” Oakley exclaimed after the trip.

Oakleys excitement for eclipses stretches from the ancient scholars of Greece to the Aztec inventors of old to them,

“It wasn’t just science back then” he said.

The students who went will always hold this memory in their hearts. Mino said, “This experience is one I will never forget”.

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Science teachers takes students to Wyoming to see Eclipse