Putting the L-P-S in the eclipse

On August 21, 50,000+ students, staff and volunteers in Lincoln Public Schools will participate in the solar eclipse. Before, during and after, students can learn about the science of an eclipse, while practicing safe viewing habits.

On Monday, LPS Science Curriculum Specialist James Blake showcased the work being done at LPS to prepare for a truly once-in-a-life event in Lincoln at a Learning Lunch at LPS District Offices.

For more about the eclipse in LPS, visit

  • LPS has curated and developed science and cross-curriculum lessons for all students. A docent guide has been created so staff members from all curriculum areas can properly lead discussions before and after the event.
  • LPS has solar protected glasses for all students and staff, 55,000 in all.
  • Students in first through twelfth grades will be included in the event, but parents and guardians can opt their student out of the event. An alternative, related learning exercise is prepared for them. (These same materials will be used if the eclipse occurs during severe weather.)
  • The shortest length of total solar eclipse for schools in LPS will have only 31 seconds of totality (Norwood Park Elementary School in northeast Lincoln), and the longest period of totality is 1 minute, 49 seconds (Lincoln Southwest High School).
  • It won’t be as dark as night during the eclipse. Instead, it will closely resemble a twilight. The uniqueness will be how quickly we go from sunlight to a twilight state. Also, there may be unusual shadows during the eclipse.
  • Location is important. The totality range is actually about 60 miles wide, with Lincoln being about 25 miles from the true center of the path. The totality will last on average 1 minute, 12 seconds. Lincoln will have about 3 hours of partial eclipse.
  • Following the eclipse, students will be asked to describe the ‘Eclipse in Six’ (words).
More about the eclipse
  • Lincoln has not had a total eclipse for 500 years, and the next total eclipse in the Lincoln area will occur in about 500 years. The last total eclipse in the United States was in the Pacific Northwest in 1979.
  • The moon is about one-fourth the size of the Earth, which is about 100 times smaller than the sun.
  • There is no other known moon in the solar system that can cause an eclipse like the Earth’s moon.
  • During the darkest part of the eclipse, cicadas will make noise, cows may head back for the barn, and streetlights will turn on.
  • The record temperature drop during an eclipse is 20 degrees.

Published: July 24, 2017, Updated: July 26, 2017