Annular solar eclipse: Giving time to wonder


The School Management Committee set aside time on 26 Dec to witness the “greatest astronomical event in Singapore” at the National Junior College. Like curious children, we had many questions. What causes a solar eclipse? What is the difference between a solar eclipse and a lunar eclipse? How does a pinhole camera work?

We stood in the field from 12.30pm, waiting in great anticipation for the “Ring of Fire” which would appear at 1.22pm. The weather was particularly kind to us that day, and there was even a light breeze.

Mrs Jenny Quek, Head of Department for Science, was thrilled by the whole experience. “People from all over Singapore came together for the same purpose. We tried to capture the phenomenon using different media – our solar viewing glasses, our mobile phones and the telescope.”

Mr Shang Thian Huat, Head of Department for PE and CCA, added, “Everyone was experiencing that sense of wonder together. Parents were enjoying the wonder with their children. We were happy to share our solar filters with other children and adults because we were all sharing the same amazing experience.”

What if we could create that same sense of wonder for our children in our schools?

“The experience engendered wonder and curiosity, and that kind of excitement rubs off each other,” said Mr Francis Foo. “We were self-directed in our learning. There is a lot of Science and Mathematics behind this to help us know that that the annular solar eclipse will take place at 1.22pm. The things that created the excitement today, we want to create for our children in school. We need to be excited ourselves so that our children can be excited in their learning.”

To our Blangah Rise children, you can look forward to many moments of wonder and excitement in your learning in 2020!