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Solar Eclipse as a Learning Day

HAMILTON COUNTY, TN—On Monday, August 21st, Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy (CGLA) students will have their eyes to the sky. To capitalize on this historical and educational opportunity, both middle and high school students are putting their safety glasses on and are viewing the solar eclipse from points in the path of totality. “All 350 girls will take part in various educational activities that directly relate to CGLA’s STEM curriculum, while experiencing a rare opportunity to observe a total solar eclipse,” says Dr. Swafford, CEO of CGLA.

Grades 6-8 will spend the day at Tennessee Wesleyan University in Athens, TN, taking a college tour and participating in various activities that connect STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) subjects to the historic solar eclipse. Ashley Hale, CGLA’s College Access Advisor and School Counselor, will be overseeing the day’s events for the middle school, while coordinating learning experiences with the science community of Tennessee Wesleyan University.

Students in grades 9-12 will view the eclipse from Old McDonald’s Farm in Dayton, TN. In the time leading up to the eclipse and during, high school students will have the opportunity to also participate in STEM activities and discussions about the historical and cultural impact of the eclipse, including time lapsed photography of the actual scientific event.

STEM lessons will be led by Charles Cole, CGLA’s Science Department Head. “This day is a major day in history” Cole says. “A solar eclipse hasn’t occurred in North America in 99 years and it won’t happen again until several years from now. This is an amazing opportunity to mesh our STEM curriculum with a historical event, while having fun and engaged in learning.” Mr. Cole continues his enthusiasm by saying, “We are so excited about this event and even more excited to watch the girls enjoy something they have never seen before and may never see again.”

 True to form and reputation, CGLA takes advantage of learning opportunities and capitalizes on the support of the local community to provide space for educational experiences. Thank you to Tennessee Wesleyan University and to Frank McDonald for supporting the Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy.