CHICAGO (CBS) — Hundreds of teachers in the state’s second largest school district have been preparing to make Monday’s solar eclipse special for their students, after getting special instruction themselves at the district’s planetarium.
“The planetarium’s been used this entire year to prepare teachers for the eclipse,” Elgin School District U-46 Planetarium teacher Peggy Hernandez said.
Teachers in U-46 were schooled on everything from safety precautions to making homemade eclipse viewing devices.
“I had about 100 teachers here in person for Planetarium professional development, and there’s been over 1,000 that have done the online training,” Hernandez said.
Hernandez said she can’t stress enough how important it is not to look directly at the solar eclipse with the naked eye, because it can cause severe eye damage.
“Every fraction of a second that you’re looking at it, you’re exposing the cells in the back of your eye to that ultraviolet light that is not good,” she said.
If you didn’t get eclipse glasses, a pinhole projector, or other solar filter for Monday’s eclipse, you won’t have to wait 99 years for another total solar eclipse across the United States like we did this time.
“I think this is a practice run. You know, we’ve got one coming in 2024 again,” she said.
Hernandez won’t be at the U-46 Planetarium on Monday for the eclipse. She’ll be in Wyoming.
“I am engaging in some significant professional development on Monday, out near Wheatland, Wyoming,” she said.
In other words, she’ll be watching the eclipse along its path of totality.