Ketchum youth program uses solar eclipse as learning opportunity

They used a special solar telescope to view the sun.

One area that’s expected to be busy this upcoming weekend is Blaine County. Ketchum sits right in the path of totality. On Thursday, elementary students got an up-close and personal look at the star of the show on Monday, the sun.

From sun spots to sun flares, students in the city of Ketchum’s Youth Recreation Program got to see them all.

“I've never seen one of those things before,” 5th grader Chase Schwartz said.

“I saw the flares like going up and going back down and then a second going back up,” 9-year-old Claire Buchwalter said.

Mark Nelson teamed up with the program and brought his solar telescope, which allowed the kids to see the sun safely, 12 times magnified.

"It’s not just like looking through eclipse. It’s a little bit more than that,” Nelson said.

Nine-year-old Alaska Sewell agreed.

“I've looked through the total solar eclipse glasses and it's not at all like that, it's actually smaller and you can't see the flares, but with that thing you can actually see the flares and it's huge.”

During the school year, Alaska and Claire, among others, studied the solar system in anticipation for this summer’s total solar eclipse.

“I saw pictures of the sun, but then I finally got to look on the telescope to see how the sun is actually in real space,” Buchwalter said.

However, now that Buchwalter has seen the sun up close, she has a few questions.

“I want to know how it sees compared to like this time, compared to like the 3 o'clock, the 9 o'clock,” Buchwalter said.

They city of Ketchum’s Youth Recreation Program is to help teach kids about nature and where they live.

“Open their eyes to how incredible our world and universe is and how important it is to be outdoors and be in wonder and awe and enjoy the outdoors,” Doran Key with the recreation program said.

Although, the full eclipse may only be for a couple of minutes, it has a lot of kids interested.

“If the eclipse was not happening would it have been quite like I have to see the sun,” KTVB asked?

“Yeah, hmm, uh, no, sort of, yeah kinda,” A group of kids replied.

© 2017 KTVB-TV


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