Unless you have been hiding under a rock, you have most likely heard that Barrow County is in a great location to view the upcoming solar eclipse occurring on Monday, August 21st.  Although there are cities that will experience a total 100% eclipse of the sun, we in Barrow County will only be experiencing a partial eclipse obscuring about 98.9% of the sun.  In Winder, the peak of this eclipse will occur at 2:37PM.  The Barrow County School System has elected to hold the release of students on this day by 30 minutes in order to take advantage of the educational opportunity this event provides, and to help ensure the safety of our students.

Since early July, the school system has been running a GoFundMe Campaign to help raise enough money to purchase 15,000 protective solar glasses.  This will be enough to supply all students and staff of the Barrow County School System and Bethlehem Christian Academy. The total cost of the glasses is approximately $4500.  The glasses are being purchased directly from Rainbow Symphony, one of the companies on the very short list of recommended US manufacturers whose glasses are certified safe.  Once the glasses have been delivered to the school system, they will be distributed to the schools to provide everyone with the necessary eye protection to view the eclipse safely.

Click the image to give to the GoFundMe!

Please be aware that since we are NOT in the path of totality where the sun is 100% eclipsed, everyone should keep their glasses on throughout the entire eclipse to avoid causing permanent damage to their eyes.  Under no circumstances should anyone look directly at the sun without their glasses on.  It does not matter how dark it gets as the eclipse peaks, a sliver of the sun will remain unobscured, which is all it takes to cause eye injury to occur.

On Thursday, August 10th, at 6:00pm, there will be a special solar eclipse program in the Gymnasium of the Center for Innovative Teaching (CFIT).  This is the old Russell Middle School gym right behind the Winder Public Library.  We are glad to be partnering with the Winder Public Library to host this event.  A downloadable event flyer with an RSVP link is available below.  The speaker for the evening will be retired UGA professor and astronomer, Dr. Maurice Snook.  The library will be giving away free solar eclipse glasses to those attending the event as well. For those of you that can’t take your entire class with you on August 10th, don’t worry.  We will have the entire program filmed and posted on YouTube for all classes to use in the days building up to the eclipse.  If you have any questions or concerns about the eclipse, please email Lee Bane at lee.bane@barrow.k12.ga.us

For those of you that choose to view the eclipse indoors, the best coverage of the event will be streamed live on NASA’s Website where they have a page dedicated to the eclipse.  Even if you aren’t watching from indoors, the NASA site has some great information and resources that can be used leading up to the eclipse.  NASA will be providing a wealth of images captured before, during, and after the eclipse by 11 spacecraft, at least three NASA aircraft, more than 50 high-altitude balloons, and the astronauts aboard the International Space Station – each offering a unique vantage point for the celestial event.  For those that want to move from passive viewer to active participant, NASA even has an opportunity for you to Become a Citizen Scientist.