The local area will receive about 90 seconds of darkness in the middle of the day Monday during the solar eclipse. Between 11:40 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., Basehor-Linwood students will be able to view the eclipse with classmates. Maximum eclipse darkness will take place around 1:08 p.m. with more than 99 percent totality.  

The last total solar eclipse in the area took place in 1806 and the next will be in 2205.

With a local total eclipse of the sun being a once in a lifetime event, students at Basehor’s Glenwood Ridge Elementary School are making plans to mark the occasion and learn the science behind the unique event.

Teachers at Glenwood Ridge will be wearing black or an eclipse T-shirt and all teachers will have developed special lesson plans to help students understand the historic event.

Third-grade GRE teacher Amy Irvin’s class will learn about the eclipse by creating a solar eclipse wheel which the students can spin to reveal information about the eclipse. They will also discuss the path of totality, track the eclipse on a map and view a video from an astronaut who explains the path and the cities that will be most likely to see it and the reasons behind it.  

“We are also doing a solar eclipse Webquest. The students will have questions they have to answer regarding the eclipse and they have to use the link they are given to answer questions. There are pictures and videos on the link as well as information for them to read,” said Irvin.

Likely the most popular lesson plan for Irvin’s class includes the use of Oreos to demonstrate the phases of the moon. An accompanying sheet shows the relationship between the sun and the Earth. Students will take the Oreos and cover the sun in phases as the solar eclipse nears.

Fifth-grade GRE teacher Ashley Odle also has eclipse-related lesson plans for her class. Students will be learning the difference between a partial, annular and total eclipse as well as the umbra and prenumbra. The most important part of the classroom discussion will involve the importance and significance of wearing special eclipse glasses, which allows people to safely view the eclipse.

“By using hands-on activities, the students are able to make memorable experiences that will last a lifetime,” Irvin said. “Since the total solar eclipse comes about every 100 years in a specific area, it truly is once in a lifetime.”

Beth Kornegay is a freelance writer covering news and events in the city of Basehor. If you have a story idea, email her at gabi_kansas@yahoo.com