Elementary students take virtual field trip to Texas State Aquarium

NORTH PLATTE, Neb.-- Monday fifth graders from Jefferson Elementary took a different kind of field trip all the way to the Texas State Aquarium, all to learn about earth's different habitats and climates through a Skype presentation.

The students took an hour to Skype with a professional in Texas who used live cameras from around their aquarium to give kids a visual of animals they see in textbooks.

Jefferson 5th grade teacher Kayla Star said, "They were pretty pumped this morning to go on the virtual field trip just because it's something new, it's not taking notes and it's not just watching a video, it's actually interactive for them."

It gives a new twist to learning how each animal survives and adapts based on the environment they're in.

Jefferson 5th grader Cayden Rombach said, "It's pretty cool because the types of the fish and the sharks you would not see in Nebraska."

Jefferson 5th grader Elijah Najere said, "It's like how you get to look at what they look like and what they do to hunt or get away from predators or prey."

"And I think it's great for the kids to not only have hands on experiences but also that visual experience of seeing those ecosystems that we don't have around here," said Star.

And it's a presentation directed specifically to this group of students and their questions.

Alexa Griffin, Jefferson 5th grader said, "I do think it's important so they can learn more about them and know and not be like when they're older like, 'What's a sting ray or like a shark?' Something like different animals for different reasons."

"The shark, it's pretty crazy how if it didn't have the dorsal fin it would just keep spinning around like a football when you throw it," said Rombach.

The teachers say they hope to do two or three virtual field trips a year.

The next one would be with a scientist doing different hands-on experiments along with students.