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Once in a lifetime opportunity: Burke High School students collect data from solar eclipse for NASA

Posted at 5:59 PM, Apr 08, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-08 18:59:51-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — It's a learning experience that is a once in a lifetime moment for Burke High School students. Students in the Air and Space academy had the opportunity to collect data from the solar eclipse for NASA.

"It's beautiful seeing it and I'm excited to experience it again," sophomore Gracellynn Meyers said.

Meyers remembers her first time seeing the solar eclipse, back in 2017, but now, this time, she's not just watching, she's collecting data for NASA.

"It's really cool being able to collect data for NASA and being able to have that experience," she said.

Burke High School was just one of 5 schools in Nebraska and 400 nationwide selected to compile and submit environmental data to NASA.

"It's a good thing to just get them out and get real measurements and contribute to the society," teacher Melanie Boudreault said. "They can be citizen scientists is what we call them to be."

During the eclipse, students measured air temperature, observed cloud cover types, wind speeds and if the eclipse impacted radio communications.

Meyers said she was surprised to feel the temperature drop and winds pick up during the eclipse.

"I didn't expect the wind to get faster once the sun got covered. I kind of expected the temperature to drop a little, but not as much as it did," she said.

NASA will take all the data collected and observe for any outliers from there. They will use that data to help prepare for the next eclipse.

"It's been really great to come outside and have the opportunity to notice what's going on, make observations and be a part of history -- data collecting for NASA," freshman Ella Behne said.