BGCS are ‘totality’ ready for the eclipse


Bowling Green City Schools are “totality” ready for next week’s eclipse.

Melanie Ferguson, eighth grade science teacher, shared with the school board at its March meeting everything that is being planned leading up to April 8.

Her enthusiasm for the eclipse was contagious.

“I don’t think I’m overexaggerating when I say, if the weather cooperates, that we are going to be changed on April 9 because it really, truly is an amazing experience,” she said.

The goal is to make the total solar eclipse both an educational and memorable occasion for students, she said.

School campuses will be closed on April 8 because “we need to be at home, being educated outside, on that day,” she said.

A pair of eclipse glasses will go home with everyone associated with the school district.

Ferguson said she has been collaborating with Andrew C. Layden and Kate Dellenbusch, both in Bowling Green State University’s Department of Physics & Astronomy.

“I thought I was a science nerd before, but I learned a lot more from Dr. Dellenbusch,” Ferguson said.

Solar glasses should be on anytime you are looking at the sun – except during totality, then it is OK to take them off. As soon as totality is over, glasses need to go back on.

Glasses are not safe if there is a hole in them, they get torn or scratched, Ferguson said.

1BookBG chose a space theme and also is embracing the eclipse.

Among the activities in grades PK-12, every single class “in some way, shape or form, the eclipse is going to be featured, highlighted, celebrated and learned about,” she said.

Every student will go home with a set of UV beads, from pipe cleaner and woven bracelets to keychains.

Ferguson said she is going to recommend her students put them on their shoe laces.

The UV beads will be “charged” in the sun and during the eclipse, they will start glowing, she said.

There is going to be a lot of vocabulary building, lab activities, eclipse tag in PE, ag classes will be looking at animal behavior, the orchestra is performing “Eclipse” at its spring concert, and art classes are using sun-sensitive paper, solar corona paintings and making eclipse mobiles.

On April 23 from 5:30-7:30, the middle school is hosting an “Astro Expo” with literacy activities, art show, books, and selfie stations.

Noreen Overholt, an elementary art teacher, was in contact with the Armstrong Air & Space Museum and got the dimensions of Neil Armstrong’s foot. She made a foot, and they got a flag, and students can replicate “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” for a selfie.

Some people may be getting eclipse fatigue and grumbling about closing school, what a waste of time and money it is, Ferguson said.

“As an educator, can you imagine if it was like this, and we weren’t prepared and we didn’t have glasses, and this is happening, and the kids didn’t know why, and we didn’t make it an educational experience for them.

“I would rather have it rain and all be for nothing than have done nothing and missed the opportunity,” she said.

“We are embracing this opportunity that the sun, moon and Earth are giving us on April 8. …” she said.

Alao at the meeting, the board:

• Recognized Jacob Amspoker – NLL All League Cardinal Division First Team in boys basketball; Ahmir Ruffin – NLL All League Cardinal Division First Team in boys basketball; Rhett Winger – NHC Red Division First Team, forward and NHC Player of the Year in hockey; Braden Loomis – NHC Red Division First Team, defense in hockey; Connor Rogowski – NHC Co-Coach of the Year in hockey; and Michele Wolf, Northwest Ohio Interscholastic Administrators Association State Award of Merit.

• Accepted the resignations of Haley Shope, fourth grade teacher at Kenwood Elementary, effective June 2; and Maira Hrovatich, middle school secretary, effective May 30.

• Employed Roman Sommer for middle school math and Matthew Rafaly for middle school foreign language, contingent upon them obtaining valid Ohio teaching licenses by Aug. 20.

• Accepted the following donations:

$651 for the student lunch debt from Betco; $100 for Jr. Bobcat Basics from the Fite/Waldron Family; $100 for the Panksepp, Quinn, Sanders, Wolf Memorial from Dave and Kathy Findley; $200 for the Panksepp, Quinn, Sanders, Wolf Memorial from Sarah Zmarzly; $50 for BG choirs from Chelsea Cloeter; $260 from Mary Kern, $25 from Phil Aaron, $20 from Barney Aaron, $200 from the BGHS Athletic Booster Club, and $25 from Robert and Joan Callecod, all for the BGHS Model UN; $200 from Gregory and Heather Shepherd, $500 from CMC Group; $100 from Anderson, Idczak & Konesky, Inc., and $200 from Newlove Realty Inc., all for After Prom; $500 for high school girls soccer from Rieman Construction; $10,000 for Conneaut playground equipment from Conneaut PTO; $134 for the second grade Imagination Station field trip from Crim Elementary PTO; and $104 for the fourth grade Mud Hens field trip from Crim Elementary PTO.

The board also accepted a gift certificate valued at $95 for Crim fifth grade camp Culver’s Night from Audrey Leslie/Glow Hair Skin Massage Studio; gift cards valued at $100 for Crim fifth grade camp Culver’s Night from Manuel Ramirez and Carmen Alvarez; winter wear valued at $300 for Bobcat Basics from Rita Eckert; footballs for recess valued at $75 for Crim Elementary students from the Howard Family; clothing/water bottles valued at $57 for Conneaut Elementary from an anonymous donor; male and female hygiene kits valued at $250 for Crim fourth grade students from First United Methodist Church c/o Stacy Kerr; and clothing valued at $100 for Crim Elementary students from an anonymous donor.

Donations totaled $14,386.

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