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GFS Experiences the Solar Eclipse in Community
At around 2 p.m. on Monday, April 8, The Common filled with boisterous energy as GFS upper and middle school students, as well as a number of faculty and staff, gathered to catch a (safe) glimpse of the solar eclipse.

The atmosphere was one of celebration, with on-theme snacks, cornhole, chalk art, and a DJ set composed of sun and moon-themed songs — with a special appearance by “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” of course. Plenty of eclipse-viewing glasses were available, and many attendees took breaks between socializing to gaze up at the partial eclipse visible from the Philadelphia area.

Though this part of the East Coast was not in the Path of Totality, where the total eclipse could be seen, it was estimated that 90% of the astronomical phenomenon would be visible.

Eva Porter, Science Department Chair at GFS, was one of the lead organizers of the eclipse-viewing party. She noted that the spirit of shared observation is right in line with the school’s core value of learning in community.

"This once in a lifetime experience is something we all want to cherish together,” Porter said. “To all get to be outside together at this historic moment is really incredible.”

For GFS senior Juliette Kang, the day was a major improvement on the 2017 partial solar eclipse, when she didn’t have access to the safety glasses and couldn’t actually look at the sun. Being amidst her friends and fellow students was also a special way to enjoy the eclipse.

“It’s really surreal, and just really cool, to all collectively view this one thing that’s so many miles away,” Kang said. “There are lots of times when science is applied to real life, but this time we’re surrounded by it.”

This sentiment was echoed by Mark Croxford, a Physics and Environmental Science teacher at GFS. 

"I love it when the reality of the universe 'interferes' with our normal day-to-day routines and reminds us of both how it functions and of its immense scale," he said. "If just for a moment, we are suddenly present to how we are living on huge spheres that are spinning around each other." 

Though a bank of clouds rolled in and blocked the peak of the eclipse, the event was still a historic campus happening that fused science, community, and fun!