Fareham pupils learn about astronomy despite solar eclipse no-show

Trinity Methodist Church in Albert Road, Southsea

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CLOUDS may have obscured the view of the solar eclipse, but schools in Fareham took the opportunity to teach their pupils about astronomy.

Hundreds of pupils at Wykeham House School learned about the solar system this morning and gazed hopefully up to the heavens from the playground.

Minnie Massey, 14, Alex Jackson, 16, Beth Sparkes, 10, watching the solar eclipse

Minnie Massey, 14, Alex Jackson, 16, Beth Sparkes, 10, watching the solar eclipse

The school held a special assembly before heading outside in the hope of catching a glimpse of the eclipse.

Headteacher Lynne Clarke said: ‘Science isn’t just something that happens in the classroom, it’s in everything we do.

‘We set up the experiment to get the students engaged with this very rare event and in spite of the clouds, everyone has been so keen to learn more about the solar eclipse.’

Despite not being able to see the eclipse, the science department equipment showed results from two test units to gauge the temperature and light levels during the event.

The students were encouraged to keep a track on both variables which dropped significantly as the moon passed between the Earth and the sun.

In the playground, the temperature dropped 2.7 degrees Celsius and the light dropped from 1473 lux to 527 lux.

Three Year 11 students - Rachael Ralph, 16, Gemma Thomas, 15, and Alex Jackson, 16 - were particularly excited to be involved with the experiment.

Rachael said: ‘It’s incredible because it’s such a rare occasion and we’re dealing with science at a hands-on level.

‘It’s different from the day-to-day lessons and I’m glad our school wants to push for its pupils to feel more involved.’

Gemma added: ‘Having experiments like this are great for the really young pupils of the school because it links them to science in real terms.’