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April 8, 2024 — Total Solar Eclipse

The BHMSD Board of School Trustees has approved a school calendar change to make Monday, April 8, a virtual learning day. Due to the total solar eclipse, there is a potential for increased traffic due to tourism and the total darkness period is projected to occur during our normal dismissal time. An alternate virtual day schedule will end the day at 2 p.m. to allow families to witness the eclipse together. Childcare will be available as an option for BHMSD families that day as well.

The Science Academic Bowl team from Bluffton-Harrison Middle School is partnering with students from Manchester Jr./Sr. High School, Bobby Russell of Quest for Stars, NASA and Blue Origin to launch a weather balloon from the BHMSD campus during the eclipse. BHMSD students and teachers prepared for the event through virtual meetings.

The stratospheric balloon launched here had a Ukrainian flag on it signed by students who are currently displaced. It also included student experiments and devices to measure data such as the temperature and humidity during the period of totality. Indiana Secretary of Education Dr. Katie Jenner shared information about the partnership in a March IDOE bulletin. Read it here.

On the Web

Mr. Russell of Quest for Stars shared this video from the balloon during the eclipse:

A crew from WMMT 3 (Kalamazoo, Mich.) covered the balloon launch and the eclipse at BHMSD. Their coverage can be found herehere and here.

A BHMSD crew livestreamed the launch, including multiple interviews with teachers and students, on YouTube via this link:

IDHS Infographics