Hoover High students take virtual field trip to Antarctica

By Arielle Clay

HOOVER, AL (WBRC) - A group of Hoover High School students went deep sea diving, got caught in some winter snow, and saw a 10 ft. long sea weed sample.  It was all part of a virtual trip to Antarctica.

"It's really interesting being able to interact with people doing research down in Antarctica," Senior Michael Foust said.

Foust and other high school students from across the state had their questions answered in a live teleconference with UAB marine researchers where are in the frozen continent for a four month study.

"To me they are much more exciting than reading a textbook even have a teacher stand up and lecture on the board to actual have this live component," UAB professor Dr. Jim McClintock said.

Students also got to see samples the researchers have collected, video from their dives and what it looks like in Antarctica right now.

"They could play videos and show us their research and show us what they've been doing and how it relates to us," Foust said.

Environmental science teacher Janet Ort often uses the research team's data in her class.  She says access to that kind of information is amazing.

"To be able teach those hands on feet in the mud  mind engaged classes really makes a synthesis of not only the skills not only the content knowledge but how does it apply to my life," Ort said.

She says using the system to take their trip makes her kids better students and better citizens.

"It makes them more educated citizens scientifically and as far as environmental impact," she said.

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