Solar show set for Monday

Fourth-grade teacher Whitney Hernandez gets excited about teaching science to her students.

But she knows science is more exciting when everyone gets to experience it, rather than just read about it in a book or on a computer screen.

That is one of the reasons she has organized a solar eclipse viewing event Monday at Graham A. Barden Elementary School in Havelock.

“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime event,” Hernandez said of Monday’s eclipse.

Though the eclipse will not be total in the Havelock area, about 95 percent of the sun is expected to be covered by the moon during the peak of the eclipse around 2:49 p.m. Monday, Hernandez said.

“One of the things we study in the fourth grade is the phases of the moon,” Hernandez said. “This gives us an opportunity to see something that is so close to the standards we teach.”

But much more than the science lesson the eclipse presents, she just wants students to have the opportunity to remember the experience of watching it.

“There will be a commemorative folder with their glasses inside, and they’ll be able to record things and write things about the day of the eclipse,” she said. “It will be a take home memory.”

She said North Carolina pinhole projectors will provide students and their families the chance to take selfies and pictures that they can save. Stations will be set up around the school’s track for activities.

“This is an opportunity for kids to capture a once-in-a-lifetime event,” she said.

The viewing event is open to the public. It is scheduled to start at 2 p.m. Special eclipse viewing glasses will be available to the first 100 people. Viewing the eclipse without the glasses can cause permanent eye damage. The event is scheduled to last until 4 p.m.