Schalmont students headed to Adirondacks for eclipse field trip

Schalmont students to go on eclipse trip

The eclipse is a great teaching opportunity. At Schalmont, the school is actually sending a group of students to Paul Smith's College to see it in person.

The eclipse is a great teaching opportunity. At Schalmont, the school is actually sending a group of students to Paul Smith’s College to see it in person.

In Emily Holodak’s class, students used models to show the positions of the earth, moon, and sun.

The eclipse is also being studied in other classes.

“We’re looking for the animal aspect of the trip and how animals react to the solar eclipse,” said Emilie Rose, a senior in environmental science. “They act as if it’s nighttime, and they’re ready to go in and go to bed,”

“The most exciting part of this trip is being able to see the students learn about what causes a solar eclipse,” said Holodak. “What are the animal behaviors going to be during the solar eclipse? How do the optics work with our eyes and the polarization of the glasses we need?”

They used models to show the moon’s shadow on the earth, with a flashlight standing in for the sun.

“It shows a good demonstration about what is happening and how it’s going to happen because it only happens one time because of full coverage,” said freshman Selena Cassano.

Most of these students will soon head to Paul Smith’s College in New York’s Adirondack State Park, up in Franklin County. It will be in the path of totality.

Tenth grader Jacob Sawyer studies digital photography.

“It’s just another thing I can add to my portfolio,” said Jacob Sawyer, a 10th grader studying digital photography. “I think it will make for great pictures. It’s just really exciting. You’re not going to see it again.”

Schalmont is sending about 140 students, a mix of 8th through 12th graders in earth science, environmental science, physics, digital photography, science honor society, and human biology.

It will be exciting to pull together all that they’ve learned and be able to see and experience it in person.

“It’s really as a teacher what your goal is,” said Holodak. “Can we teach this content in a way that the students are able to experience it in real life and apply what they’ve learned to this natural phenomena.”

Students will be going up and coming back on the same day.

Teachers have been planning this trip since 2023.

“So it was on our radar, especially as a science department. We kind of know what’s upcoming, so it had been on our radar, and we knew it was going to be important, and how close we are to totality, we couldn’t miss it!” said Holodak. “We started planning, and it took a lot, but Paul Smith’s, we are super thankful and grateful for them to host us on that day, and they have a lot of activities going on for us to participate in.”