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Turlock High takes part in solar history
THS eclipse
Over 2,480 Turlock High School students pack into the bleachers at Joe Debeley Stadium on Monday morning to watch the Great American Total Solar Eclipse. - photo by FRANKIE TOVAR/The Journal

The entire Turlock High School student body made its way out to Joe Debeley Stadium Monday morning to watch the eclipse as part of a special educational activity planned by Science teacher Ryan Hollister. Thanks to Hollister’s relationship with Science Friday, a Public Radio International program, he was able to secure 2,600 solar eclipse glasses so that over 2,400 THS students could watch the solar event safely.

“This is one of the rarest phenomenon that kids will ever get to experience in their lifetime, so to be able to actually look and it and see it – not just the projection on the ground – hopefully will start an inner flame for the birth of an astronomer today,” said Hollister. “It’s just one of those cool things that not many other people are able to experience, so this will let them see, wonder and have questions pop up that we can talk about in class.”

To prepare for the solar eclipse viewing, students were taught about the relationship between the earth and the moon, including the creation of diagrams with foam balls acting as our planet and its moon, and a lantern serving as the sun. Senior Caitlin Cornell, one of Hollister’s Environmental Science students, said she was thankful for the opportunity to watch her first solar eclipse.

“My parents didn’t do this in high school, and some schools around here didn’t even get to go outside during the eclipse,” said Cornell. “The school is putting a lot of trust in us, and we’re hoping that everyone keeps that trust going. I’ll always remember that my school was one of the only schools to go outside and experience something this cool.”