Hiawatha students forgo traditional teenage summer fun to focus on Solar Eclipse

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HIAWATHA, Kan (WIBW)--- While many high school students are soaking up their final days of summer vacation, a group of Hiawatha High School students are hard at work crunching in numbers, testing out thermometers and patiently waiting for the arrival of the Great Solar Eclipse.

"This is a huge deal and we've been practicing since May, this is just a huge step in science for us,” said student Jessica Lewis.

This group of self-proclaimed astronomy buffs were selected by the National Solar Observatory to take part in their nationwide Citizen C.A.T.E experiment; a scientific initiative that provides educational groups across the county with high-tech equipment to capture shots of the two minute long solar eclipse.

"This is our one chance to do it right and so it's a very stressful process and we try to practice at least four times a month or maybe more,” said Lewis.

However, for their teacher Nolan Sump, it's a chance to take his students away from the classroom and put their skills to the test.

"It's very exciting to see them get involved in this because science is something that we need to keep pushing with our students especially astronomy," said Sump.

For those who think they are too cool for this scientific phenomena, well this group has a message for you.

"There's 88 million people within two miles of this,” said Sump. “This is one of those things that would really unite this country together just for that one day."