Mayo Demonstration Academy students wasted no time getting down to learning as school began for the 2017-2018 school year. The reason behind the quick start is science and a solar eclipse that was scheduled to occur in Tulsa.
During the lunchtime hour, students gathered on the playground, each with a pair of safety glasses provided to them for viewing the eclipse. While some parts of the U.S. experienced a total eclipse, Tulsa saw an 89 percent totality, more than enough to see and feel on the warm August afternoon.
Jessica, a fifth grader at Mayo explained, “An eclipse is when the moon passes between the earth and the sun and blocks the brightness of the sun.”
Students weren’t the only ones that were eager to see the eclipse. Fifth grade teacher Hunter Najera said the event was a great way to start off the school year. “Since 8 a.m. this morning, we have tracked all the states that the path of totality is going to be, we’ve taken an observation booklet and are mapping out what we’re seeing at different times of the day, it’s going to be awesome.”
The eclipse and the ability to study it in a classroom setting is a good example of STEM education. STEM, which stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. It’s estimated that jobs requiring STEM related skills will and high levels of post-secondary education will be the fastest growing jobs in the U.S. by the tie these students enter the job market.