Rockland County high school student makes safe eclipse glasses from cereal boxes

ByAnthony Carlo WABC logo
Thursday, April 4, 2024
How to make eclipse glasses from cereal boxes
Anthony Carlo has more on how eclipse glasses are being made from cereal boxes.

STONY POINT, New York (WABC) -- With the solar eclipse just days away, a high school student in Rockland County has come up with a do-it-yourself solution to viewing the celestial experience safely.

They always tell you to think outside the box, but high school student George Melis wants you to "think in it" when watching the solar eclipse.

"With this you can look at it the entire time and not have to look away," he said.

Who knew? To see something so great, all you would have to do is stare at the bottom of a cereal box.

The homemade eclipse viewer has NASA's stamp of approval, but the fairly simple DIY crafts project takes a matter of minutes, and is being taught by the 15-year-old Rockland County high school student.

All you need are some scissors, aluminum foil, tape, white construction paper and a tiny screwdriver to punch a hole.

Melis says you would actually want the eclipse behind you. Then, by looking through the open side of the box, you can see the reflection of the eclipse in the white paper at the base of it.

So, what was George's inspiration?

"These events that happen only a couple times in your life - to experience them as best as possible," he said.

To do so safely is of utmost importance. Looking directly at an eclipse can badly damage your eyes, unless you are wearing proper solar glasses. But this option gives you an indirect, wondrous view.

"Looking at it like with the glasses is cool but dim," Melis said. "You can see the whole thing with the box. It's a different experience."

One that Melis first experienced at 9 years old with his mom.

"In that moment, I felt the awe of it and the beauty of it and the simplicity of it as well," George's mother Vanessa Melis said.

Her son has now grown in his age and resourcefulness.

For now, he's happy sharing his box of tricks with others as part of his youth group leadership project.

"Absolutely. I'm going to carry it with me wherever I go Monday," Melis said.

He's staying grounded in the beauty of the universe.

"The world has a lot of beautiful things, and you should try to define them and cherish them when you see them," Melis said.

If you would like to create your own DIY viewing experience, you can follow the step-by-step instructions below.

George's step-by-step guide:

  • Put the cereal box on a piece of white paper and trace the bottom of the box.
  • Cut out the rectangular piece of paper and put it in the cereal box to line the bottom.
  • Cut off the sides of the box top, a third on the left side, a third on the right, leaving the middle third - where the closure flap is - intact.
  • Tape the middle flap closed.
  • Take a piece of tinfoil, big enough to cover one of the holes at the top of the box, and lay it over an opening. Tape it to secure.
  • Poke a small home through the top of the foil.
  • To use the cereal box for indirect viewing:

  • Stand with your back to the eclipse.
  • Point the hold in the foil toward the eclipse.
  • Look through the hole on the other side of the box.
  • The white piece of paper at the bottom of the box reflects the eclipse. You can watch the progression throughout the eclipse safely.
  • ABC News and National Geographic will air "Eclipse Across America" live on April 8 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. EDT on ABC, ABC News Live, National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo WILD, Disney+ and Hulu.


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