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Student newspaper of Strath Haven High School

Panther Press

Student newspaper of Strath Haven High School

Panther Press

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Haven witnesses rare celestial event 

Wallingford-Swarthmore School District coordinated a watch party on April 8 for students to safely observe the solar eclipse.
Haven+students+and+staff+view+the+solar+eclipse+through+specialized+glasses.+The+eclipse+watch+party%2C+hosted+by+admin%2C+began+at+2%3A15+p.m.%2C+with+peak+coverage+of+the+sun+at+3%3A23+p.m.+and+ran+until+the+eclipse+had+completed.
Matthew Ramirez ’26
Haven students and staff view the solar eclipse through specialized glasses. The eclipse ‘watch party,’ hosted by admin, began at 2:15 p.m., with peak coverage of the sun at 3:23 p.m. and ran until the eclipse had completed.

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon blocks the view of the sun from the earth. The eclipse followed a path that stretched across North America, which included Mexico, America, and Canada. 

According to nasa.gov, the April 2024 solar eclipse was the last total solar eclipse to be visible in the contiguous United States until 2044.

Because Strath Haven High School is not in the path of totality, our community experienced a partial solar eclipse.

“[The moon] can partially block the sun because the sun is obviously very, very far,” science teacher Mr. Timothy Styer said. “It’s many million miles away. The moon goes around the Earth; it’s going to occasionally get in the way.” 

At peak coverage, around 3:23 p.m., the moon covered about 88% of the sun, according to eclipsesoundscapes.org

The total solar eclipse, which happens roughly every 18 months somewhere on Earth, can be a great experience for learning about the science that can affect everyone’s lives.

“This is where I think science is a big advocate,” Styer said. “Whether you want to [experience science] or not, you’re in it…this is where it’s going to cross over.”

Even though the eclipse was only partial, there were still safety precautions to consider. It is not safe to look at the sun without any protective eyewear. 

“You can punch a hole on a piece of paper, but other people find it to more preferably something which is built to withstand and why you should look at it, those are the special glasses,” Styer said.

On Wednesday, April 3, students were informed via an announcement from the science department that an ‘eclipse party’, with solar glasses provided, would be held in the grassy area beside the Strath Haven Middle School parking lot. 

The event would commence on the afternoon of April 8 at 2:15 p.m. and would last till 4:00 p.m.. Students were encouraged to attend the event during fifth block to view the partial eclipse. 

Mr. Andrew Benzing, Director of STEM Teaching, Learning, and Innovation and event organizer, had a headstart in preparation for the eclipse.

About a month ago, we ordered over 1800 glasses for the district…We made sure every elementary school student has them,” Benzing said. “Then we just made [the glasses] available as needed for the secondary level.”

Special eclipse glasses are important for viewing the sun properly during a celestial event such as a solar eclipse.

“I am able to look at the sun without damaging my retina,” sophomore Lexi Benzing, who was in attendance at the eclipse watch party, said. “The school likes to keep everyone safe and bought the most high-tech glasses they could.”

As important as eclipse glasses are for viewing the eclipse, they were not made available for everyone because of limited supply. 

“I think they underestimated the amount of people who were going to show up,” junior Emilio Celebre, a watch party attendee, said. “So that’s why everyone has to pair up together to get glasses, but thankfully, I planned ahead and got these on Amazon. So I’m all set.”

Green Haven will be collecting solar eclipse glasses to be reused to view future eclipses around the world. Glasses can be dropped off in room 200 anytime through the rest of this week.

 

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About the Contributors
Matthew Ramirez '26
Matthew Ramirez '26, Social Media Editor
Matthew Ramirez is a sophomore and a member of the Haven Yearbook. Matthew enjoys photography, art, and listening to music.
Matteo Ventresca '25
Matteo Ventresca '25, Managing Editor of Print
Matteo Ventresca is the Managing Editor for Print for The Panther Press. In his free time, he enjoys watching and playing soccer, as well as playing the trombone.
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