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Can’t take your students out during the eclipse? Try this lesson idea!

Can’t take your kids outside during the eclipse? Looking for an engaging lesson to do indoors?  While this lesson does not compare to watching the eclipse outside with a pin hole viewer or approved viewing glasses it is one way to still be a part of Eclipse Mania!  Not to mention an easy way to integrate spreadsheets!

 Research or have on hand names of cities that will be in the “Path of Totality” about the same time that the eclipse is happening where you are located.  NASA Eclipse Map.

Using a spreadsheet application such as Excel, Google Sheets, or Numbers, have students create a new spreadsheet and create the following headings in row 1,  Time, Temperature, Wind Speed. Click here for an example.  You could also track 2 cities, yours and one that will experience a total eclipse.  Click here for an example.  You or your students may want to set up the spreadsheet differently.  These are just ideas.

Next have students go to, enter the zip code or city of the “Path of Totality” city they are following, and bookmark the resulting weather page for that city or cities. 

Starting approximately 1 hour prior to the total eclipse of the selected city or cities, in specified intervals (that one is up to you) go to the bookmarked page for the City, and record in the spreadsheet, Time, Temperature, and Wind Speed which is provided on the page.

Continue your observations until 15-30 minutes after the eclipse.

Ask students what they observe from the data?   What was the mean, median and mode of the temperatures. Was there a correlation with the eclipse and any observable changes in temperature or wind speed?  See if their data and observations are consistent with what meteorologists at the Weather Channel predict. Click here for a short video of ways weather could change during the eclipse.


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