Indiana

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INDOE, Indy School District Partner For Safe Solar Eclipse Viewing Alternative

Wayne Township schools students watch a live stream lessons on the solar eclipse. (Lauren Chapman/IPB News)

Wayne Township schools students watch a live stream lessons on the solar eclipse. (Lauren Chapman/IPB News)

The Indiana Department of Education offered schoolchildren around the state an opportunity to view Monday’s solar eclipse through an instructional live stream.

The department partnered with an Indianapolis-area school district to provide a safe alternative to viewing the eclipse.

In Christy Overton’s fourth grade class on the west side of Indianapolis, the students are getting personalized instruction from their scientist in residence, Rick Crosslin.

Abby is one of those students. Inside the classroom, she’s watching the live stream and learning more about the eclipse, without having to worry about protecting her eyes.

“If you look up at the sky, like, during today, you’ll get blind,” Abby says.

Abby says she loves learning about different types of eye protection – especially the glasses.

“I think they’re cool because they’re like the 3D glasses you get at the movie theater,” she says.

MSD Wayne Township Schools Superintendent Jeff Butts worried about protecting his students’ eyes and wanted to opt for indoor instruction.

“We didn’t believe we could keep all of our students – 16,500 children – with their sunglasses on, their approved sunglasses, looking up at the sun,” Butts says.

He reached out to the Indiana Department of Education to set up a live stream.

He says Crosslin approached the school administration early in the summer, so the district was able to build the eclipse into lessons long before Monday.

Butts says this experience didn’t end with students in Wayne Township. He wanted to share the resources the district had with the rest of Indiana.

“This wasn’t just about providing an opportunity for the students at MSD Wayne Township, this was about providing an opportunity for all children across the state,” Butts says.

By the end of the live stream, it had more than 2,000 views.

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