Students watch eclipse at McNiel Middle School

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - The eclipse of 2017 has come and gone as groups across Texoma gathered and watched the moon pass in front of the sun. Teachers were happy to have a real-life example of something they teach every year.

"If you're not reading the newspaper, watching the news you don't know what's going on around you. So it's just a teachable moment and we grabbed a hold of that and those kids got to view something that otherwise they may not have," said McNiel Middle School Principal, Tania Rushing.

Students spent the past week getting their shoe boxes, cereal boxes, and even Pringle cans ready for the solar eclipse. On Monday, they got to bust them into action.

"We've been watching the eclipse as it's been occurring from Oregon across the continental United States, making sure everyone's solar viewer is ready to go, and students are just excited to go outside and experience some science," said Michael Tayntor, 8th grade AP Advanced Science Teacher.

Before heading outside, I talked to Davidson Cook and Michael Neely, two 8th grade eclipse experts, about what they expected to see.

"I'm expecting to just see a shadow, my teacher said to look in 'the trees shadow,' you'll see something. A crescent!", said both Davidson and Michael.

At 12:40 PM, everyone headed outdoors for the big show.

"They're excited but they're cautious too. They want to make sure they're doing the right thing. And we've been very cautious with them to let them know not to look at the sun directly but to observe the eclipse in their solar viewers," said Tayntor.

For about 40 minutes, students stood outside and watched the eclipse reach its peak and then slowly decrease. I caught back up with Michael and Davidson to see if their expectations were met.

"It's awesome! The glasses work a lot better than the box but the box you can still see the moon so that's great," said Michael.

Rushing said things went great today and that a similar plan could be expected for the next eclipse in 2024.

"I think the school will because it was a success as far as discipline and moving the kids and having them bring their shoe boxes and Pringle cans. It was pretty quick," said Rushing.

You only have to wait 7 years for the next eclipse and the path will bring it closer to Texoma. Areas to the southeast of Dallas-Fort Worth will be in the path of darkness during the 2024 eclipse.

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