Indian River High School teacher captures 2021 solar eclipse in Watertown to help teach students


PHILADELPHIA, N.Y. (WWTI) — A universal phenomenon hit the North Country on June 10, and one local science teacher was there to capture it all.

Barry Dusharm is a high school science teacher at the Indian River Central School District in Philadelphia, New York. Dusharm teaches biology, earth science and engineering, but originally was a videographer for ABC news in Alaska, before he got his teaching degree.

This was when he discovered his passion for photography. Barry extended this passion for photography to the classroom with his most recent endeavor, capturing the 2021 Solar Eclipse that was visible in the majority of the Northern Hemisphere.

“So I decided I’m not going to miss this one. I took my gear out early Thursday morning and put the solar filters on my lenses, I ended up with the photos that, you know, people have been, people have been looking at,” shared Dusharm.

Which in this instance, the photographs were “out of this world.”

However, this eclipse was different than the “conventional eclipse, which is what compelled Dusharm to use this as a teaching opportunity for his students.

“This was a partial solar eclipse, which means that we weren’t directly in line with the moon and the sun,” added Dusharm. “So we didn’t get to see the ring of fire. Luckily for us, we got to see about an 80% blockage or eclipse of the sun and that 20% of the sun that was still exposed. That was still bright enough so that we couldn’t see the eclipse with the naked eye. You still had to use the solar glasses.”

He used these warnings and safety precautions to teach his earth science students about the eclipse itself, and his biology students on how the sun’s rays can

And these lessons extended outside the classroom in preparation and on the morning of the eclipse when Dusharm joined a group of local residents to watch the event at Thompson Park in Watertown.

Upon arrival at the park around 4:45 a.m., he was the only one there. However, after setting up his equipment, he shared that more excited face showed up to experience, but he was the only viewer with proper camera equipment.

Because of this, Dusharm started taking photographs and then moving away from the camera so the group could experience the phenomenon together.

From there, many took photographs of Dusharm’s camera, waited for more shots and enjoyed the thrill until many, like himself, had to go to work to teach students.

“Finding like-minded people together like that, It was a little informal party going on there. And I think part of it that made it even even better was the fact that we have been isolated from each other for so long. And finally, we’re outdoors, we don’t have our masks on, we’re talking about something we all have in common, and we had just a fantastic time,” concluded Dusharm.

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