Home Vermont How Vermont schools are preparing students for the eclipse

How Vermont schools are preparing students for the eclipse


BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) – The Great American Eclipse is right around the corner, and schools are getting totally excited for the big day.

We’re just 42 days away from the rare moment when the moon passes between the sun and the earth, plunging parts of our region into near-total darkness.

Schools all across Vermont in its path are learning about the science behind it and what to expect. They’re also learning all about the hullabaloo that’s coming to their small town.

Troy School sixth-grader Alex Bathalon says science is his favorite subject. He’s in luck because his small town of Troy will get three minutes and 27 seconds of near-total darkness on April 8th.

“It’s kind of I feel like it’s gonna be cool to see it. Like, just got dark, like slowly,” said Bathalon.

Like many towns in the state, Troy is preparing for swaths of visitors to get a glimpse of the celestial phenomenon.

Bathalon said, “It’s kind of quiet around here. So it’s gonna be kind of like when we visit Burlington and it’s busy.”

Troy School Is closing early to avoid visitor traffic, and science teacher William Stilianessis is working with students to hang posters around town.

They’ll also visit senior and community centers to share what they’re learning about the eclipse. Stilianessis says novelty is the name of the game.

“This is such a rare event – and for the Northeast Kingdom. So once they become world travelers, this is a one-time deal,” said Stilianessis.

Right now, there’s a lot of education happening around safety for eclipse viewing, making sure people have the proper eyewear, etc. The supervisory union is providing these glasses to make sure students are safe when they view the magical moment.

About 50 miles southwest, Georgia middle and elementary school is also closing early and giving out shades.

Third-grader Talan Sterling said, “It’s just really, really exciting. ‘Cause we’re in Vermont, and it’s happening.”

STEM teacher Sarah Heth has an inflatable eclipse mobile hanging from the ceiling to symbolize what’s to come.

“Hopefully the weather works out and we’ll talk about it, and we’ll probably act it out a little bit. Try to figure out how the sun, moon, and earth are aligned, and see where it goes,” she said.

Heth says science-loving students make the educational experience invigorating.

“There’s definitely a lot of excitement for kids – a lot of mystery,” she said.

The Vermont Astronomical Society is also going to some schools and libraries to tell them more about the eclipse.

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