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Teacher uses eclipse as teaching tool, before school even starts

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RICHLAND, Wash -- The start of school is still several weeks away, but middle school science teacher Aimee Kovis is getting ready, and offering her students extra credit, before the first bell even rings.

"We have a huge solar eclipse coming up and I wanted to take advantage of the natural learning environment of the world around us."

She says the upcoming eclipse is a once in a lifetime for her and her students. She wants to maximize the opportunity to learn from this real time celestial phemonenon.

"I'm asking them to watch the eclipse and read some websites to understand the eclipse before it happens, then write a paragraph about what they are seeing during the eclipse."

Solar Eclipse mania is beginning to ramp up, even in our area where we won't get a total eclipse, but will get 96-percent coverage. At Fred Meyer in Richland they have eclipse tee-shirts and travel mugs, and they've ordered in 10-thousand pairs of special glasses to watch the eclipse.

"We have a diagram of what the glasses will allow you to do. You'll be able to look right into the sun. I know there's a lot of kids from schools that are doing projects on it so it's a pretty neat offer that we can give to the community," says store manager Chris Meajher.

Eclipse viewing parties are also planned. The Port of Pasco is holding one of what will be many eclipse parties.

Mrs. Kovis hopes her students will be watching and learning. "this is a huge opportunity for them to have concrete, hands on experience with the concepts we are learning."

Starting the school year with a few extra points on the books, and a little extra knowledge as well.

You can find solar eclipse glasses at the Fred Meyer in Richland for 99-cents. They're also available by the dozen on Amazon.

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