VIDEO: See the sights from the solar eclipse at Missouri S&T in Rolla

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ROLLA, Mo. -- Thousands descended on the lawn to witness history in the making at Missouri S&T in Rolla.

The science students saw 99.8 percent totality.

"It's a pretty cool thing to see because we study it," said Hailey Davis. "It was really nice to see."

Hailey Davis left vacation in Branson early Monday morning to see the sun go dark.

"Yeah, science is one of my favorite subjects," said Davis.

Traffic on I-44, lighter than many anticipated.

"it's been great actually," said Davis. "We left at 6:00 a.m. because we thought it was going to be bad."

The clock struck 1:15 p.m., and it was time. A small sliver of sun, still powerful enough to offer more light than most thought. Sharp shadows, strained necks and covered eyes. for history,here and gone. It was all witnessed by some 8,500 students who devote their life to the study thereof.

"I'm in aerospace engineering and I want to build rockets to go up to the moon and go up to Mars and everyting, and experienceing a solar event like this, it's just awesome," said Davis "it fuels me to even study more, and be more excited for school."

The the last one here in Missouri, was in 1869. A lot of homeschool groups were here too.