Naperville, Aurora, and Lisle shade up for the 2024 solar eclipse

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On Monday, April 8, the community witnessed another reunion between the sun and moon during the 2024 solar eclipse. Though we didn’t see totality here, we were still treated to a breathtaking sight. 

McCarty Elementary School students take in the spectacle

At McCarty Elementary School in Aurora, kids gathered outside to view the phenomenon on a Moon-day afternoon. 

Over 400 kids, teachers, and even the school mascot, eagerly waited to see the maximum eclipse. 

Once the students got their wish and the moon covered 94% of the sun, the children sat in awe taking in the view.

“When you put your glasses on and you look up, it shrinks on its side and then looks like a banana,” said Cillian Cassidy, a student at McCarty Elementary School. 

While the students enjoyed the phenomenon, many teachers viewed the solar eclipse as a crucial opportunity for the kids. 

“I think it’s important to incorporate things outside of the classroom inside the classroom. So I think having the students out here to experience it, they won’t be able to experience it [again] until they are about 29 years old, it’s just really important for them to see this,” said Laura Torrey, a third-grade teacher at McCarty Elementary School.

Kennedy Jr. High Students shade up for the solar eclipse

Kids at Kennedy Jr. High School in Lisle also headed outside for the real-life science lesson.

“I’m excited. I heard that the temperature drops, so I’m excited to see how that feels and I’m also excited to see the moon partially covered,” said Ivana Micic, a student at Kennedy Junior High School.

Being at a higher education level, students at Kennedy Junior High also did a lot of prepping for the solar eclipse. 

“We did some research in the classroom, we took some time to look at videos and look at websites, and asking questions, and talking with our lab groups,” said Jenn Widd, a science teacher at Kennedy Junior High School.

All the preparations had the students well-educated in time for the solar eclipse.

“It’s a first-hand experience. It’s just trying to relate what they’re learning in the classroom and what they’ve heard about versus what they’ve actually been able to see themselves and make their own observations, said Thad Whildin, a science teacher at Kennedy Junior High School. 

Whalon Lake hosts “Solar-bration” event

And over at Whalon Lake, the public was invited to gather for a special viewing “Solar-bration”, with hundreds turning out for the event.

“It’s so exciting we have so many people here and everyone has been so kind. Some folks don’t have glasses and other people are like ‘hey we have extras, we don’t all need one’ and they have been sharing. It’s such a really nice environment and everyone is coming together. It’s really heartwarming for me,” said Michelle Cipiti, interpretive naturalist at Hidden Oaks Nature Center.

No matter where you caught the view, there was a moment when the sun and moon unified, bringing us all together underneath one sky. 

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