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Randall Middle Shines a light on the Solar Eclipse around the World

August 21, 2017 - Points of Pride

As the sun dimmed during Monday’s solar eclipse, staff and students at Randall Middle School in Lithia stepped into the global spotlight.

Three Randall Middle School staff members in partnership with NASA, Janet’s Planet and the Norwegian Space Agency broadcasted live via Skype from Newberry, South Carolina, from the Path of Totality. Hillsborough County students, as well as kids around the country and world tuned in to the 2017 Eclipse Fest.

Back in the Bay area, Randall Middle School students had the opportunity to take what they’d learned about the eclipse outside of the classroom and watch it unfold.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Janet’s Planet donated 1,600 eclipse viewing glasses. Students, with permission from their parents, donned the specs to see the spectacle in the sky.

“I thought it was really cool. The fact the shadows changed was really cool. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing,” said Randall Middle School sixth-grader, Jackson Day. “It’s a really special thing.”

This is the first Solar Eclipse to cross the continental U.S. since 1918, in which the moon moved between the Sun and Earth blocking out the Sun’s rays and casting a shadow on parts of Earth.

Randall Middle School students in Mary Vaughn’s sixth-grade Gifted Science Program also collected data during the eclipse.

“We’re going to be comparing that data with other scientists across North America. We’re going to have students look at the data and see what the difference is a far as temperature, light and humidity,” Vaughn said. “These guys are really lucky. Total solar eclipses are very rare, so this is an opportunity that lined up just perfectly for all of North America to be a part of it. Very, very exciting,” Vaughn said.

If you missed this one, you don’t have to wait another 99 years, the next total solar eclipse in the U.S. will be on April 8, 2024.

To learn more about Randall Middle School, visit

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