Members of the Lincoln Academy community view the August 21 solar eclipse through homemade pinhole devices and eclipse glasses. The viewing event took place at the LA ATEC building.

More than 30 people showed up at Lincoln Academy’s Cable-Burns Applied Engineering and Technology (ATEC) building on Monday, August 21 to view the solar eclipse through eclipse glasses and homemade pinhole projection devices that they constructed on site using recycled boxes. The program was the brainchild of Stephanie Cheney, who started her job as Lincoln Academy’s Academic Technology Director on the same day as the eclipse.

“I had no idea how many people to expect,” said Cheney, whose first official day on the job was Monday. “It is pretty special to have so many people come to be a part of this event on my first day on the job. I had no idea there would be so much interest!”

LA senior Jamayka Manter is a member of the Lincoln Academy Innovation Technology (LAIT) team, and she came to help out with the eclipse program along with other members of LAIT. “This doesn’t happen often, and it is unique to have a chance to see it. This is the first time I have seen an eclipse, so it is cool to be here.”

Sophomore Quinn Straus came with his father and brother to check out the eclipse. He said, said, “we heard there was a gathering, with glasses and other viewing material, and I have been interested in the eclipse for a while. It’s better to watch it with other people, I guess. I wanted to drive somewhere to see the total eclipse, but it was pretty far. The next eclipse, in 2024, will be visible in Maine, so I will be able to see that one.”

Sue Levesque is an LA Math teacher who came with her three sons to view the eclipse with the LA community. “My son Austin, who is 13, said, ‘we should go up to LA to view the eclipse because there are going to be lots of science geeks there,’ so we came. One thing that we noticed is that the smaller shadow boxes give a better view than the bigger boxes, so I have been wondering about the mathematics involved,” she said.

Megan DeRaps is LA’s Athletic trainer, and she came down to ATEC before preseason sports practice started on Monday. “This is really exciting for Stephanie! Her first event is such a big success. I have not seen an eclipse before, so it was an experience of a lifetime. I hope it happens again!”

Eclipse 2.

Lincoln Academy’s new Academic Technology Director (R), Stephanie Cheney, helps students construct pinhole projection devices to view Monday’s eclipse.

Benji Pugh is a sophomore and member of LAIT. He has been working as a technology assistant in ATEC this summer. “It was fun to see such a community come together and have a once in a lifetime experience. I learned how to make the projection boxes just today, so that was interesting too.”

For Cheney, the event was a perfect, if surprising, welcome to Lincoln Academy. “Best first day ever! It was such a gift to have so many people turn out: students, parents, and staff, for a really fun event. I am happy I got to meet so many people in the community. There was lots of science-y talk about how the device worked. People were really talking about the science and math behind the eclipse, so that just added to the fun.”