Video conference connects sharks and students

Friday, October 29 2010

Sixth-grade students in Florida got to get up close and personal with some ocean predators while also maintaining a safe distance.

Children at the Garnet Valley Middle School were connected via video conference to a trainer at Mote Marina Laboratory in Sarasota, Florida, for a program about sharks, reports the Garnet Valley Press.

"Sharks! Devouring the Myth," brought an hour of education and entertainment into the classroom as the students learned about the behavior of sharks, different types of sharks, their anatomy and physiology and some common misconceptions about the animals.

The children had tons of questions as many a myth about the ocean beast were debunked. For instance, the students learned that there are 60,882 injuries caused by toilets and only 55 injuries caused by sharks each year. They also learned that sharks have sight that is seven times more powerful than humans and that there are over 350 types of sharks.

Teacher Jennifer Iavarone told the Garnet Vally press that the video conferencing technology gave the students the opportunity to see things they may have never had the chance to see otherwise. Also, they could learn from an expert in another location and the cost of a field trip was drastically reduced.

The program, called SeaTrek, is available to schools all over the world that have video conference systems in place.