South Orangetown Central School District

SOMS Science Olympiad members test pinhole projectors

Members of the South Orangetown Middle School Science Olympiad team have been busy gearing up for today’s solar eclipse!

Just before the spring recess, co-advisors SOMS Science teacher Deena Kramarczyk, SOMS Science teacher, and Samantha Levine, K-8 Instructional Science Coach, hosted a special meeting dedicated to learning all about the solar eclipse including what happens during an eclipse, where the total eclipse will be seen and how to view the eclipse safely. They emphasized that no one should look directly at the sun and the safest ways to view the eclipse is by using special solar viewing glasses or by using a pinhole projector.

Using basic supplies such as a box, aluminum foil, a piece of paper and a push pin, Kramarczyk and Levine worked with students to create their very own pinhole projector box. By pointing the side of the viewer with the aluminum foil that has a pierced hole in the center at the sun, you can see a shadow of the sun/eclipse projected on the inside of the box. After testing their handheld pinhole projectors using a flashlight, they began working on a much larger projector: a camera obscura! It will have a similar effect as the handheld projector but the box is much larger and it is supposed to replicate a “dark room.”

Throughout the day, students across grades K-12 will learn about the solar eclipse and for safety purposes, the District has purchased eclipse glasses for all students which will be distributed at the end of the school day. Students will be informed that they are receiving the glasses to protect their eyes and the importance of wearing them during the eclipse.