Tippecanoe School Corporation
Students prepare for total solar eclipse

“You can’t look into the sun directly or you will damage your retina,” says Dayton fifth grader Winnie Sieber.

Winnie and her classmates in Sarah Harmon’s fourth and fifth grade high ability class are learning about the upcoming total solar eclipse and how to view it safely. 

In addition to using special eclipse glasses to protect your eyes, students created another way to watch the celestial event: a cereal box solar viewer. 

The students used cereal boxes, aluminum foil, tape, sheets of white paper and toothpicks to create the viewing boxes. Then, the class went outside to test them. 

With their backs to the sun, the students peered into one side of the box and adjusted the other side of the box with the pinhole toward the sun. 

“You can see a small circle from the sun in the box, if you angle it correctly,” says Winnie. 

“This is interesting and fun,” says classmate Melanie Soelke. “I’m learning a lot of new things about space and the solar eclipse.”

“I want to offer knowledge about safe ways to view the eclipse, especially because I have many students with younger siblings. If they are not able to get approved solar viewing glasses for everyone, I wanted students to know how they could still safely experience the eclipse with the pinpoint solar eclipse viewers,” says Harmon. 

Harmon says the students are becoming more engrossed as they learn more about the eclipse: “Several are now hoping to be able to view it and are seeing April 8 as much more than a day off from school. They are appreciating the wonder and beauty in the natural world that surrounds us.”

Students making viewing boxes


Mrs. Harmon's class outside with viewing boxes
Student using viewing box