NEW ORLEANS – New Orlenians got a chance to be a “science geek” as the universe was one giant classroom on Monday.

At the University of New Orleans, several students, scientists and residents gathered to watch the partial solar eclipse.

As students gathered to watch the phenomenal event, some put their engineering studies to good use.

“We went home and made these, looked up a video on YouTube and just made these boxes,” Tony Nguyen, UNO student, said.

“These boxes may look simple but boy, it took us about an hour to do, but hopefully we get to see the phenomenon,” Tyler Dinh, UNO student and Nguyen’s friend, said.

Another student even bought a welder’s helmet.

“I brought two lenses, but I haven't been able to use them much. I'm letting everybody else borrow them,” Pablo Orellena said.

There was a brief applause as the eclipse reached its peak in the city. The moon blocked 75 percent of the sun in New Orleans.

“I saw one when I was a child, but I almost don't remember anything. It's going to be like my first time. So, pretty cool,” UNO student Diego Rodriguez said.

“It's the best I'll probably ever see it, so it looks great to me,” student Emma O;Grady said.

One professor, UNO astrophysicist Gregory Seab, loved every minute of the eclipse.

“This is fantastic. I knew what to expect and still looking at it, it's wow,” Seab said.

The next solar eclipse will take place on April 8, 2024.