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updated: 5/19/2014 5:14 PM

Libertyville students learn from Florida marine biologist

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  • Fourth-grader Maddie Rupert asks a question Monday during a video chat with marine biologist Keith Fischer in the learning center at Butterfield School in Libertyville. The students talked with a Fischer, who works with the Fish and Wildlife Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla., as part of their lessons on ecosystems.

       Fourth-grader Maddie Rupert asks a question Monday during a video chat with marine biologist Keith Fischer in the learning center at Butterfield School in Libertyville. The students talked with a Fischer, who works with the Fish and Wildlife Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla., as part of their lessons on ecosystems.
    Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

  • Fourth grade students participate in a video chat with marine biologist Keith Fischer Monday in the learning center at Butterfield School in Libertyville. Fischer, who works with the Fish and Wildlife Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla., discussed ecosystems with the students.

       Fourth grade students participate in a video chat with marine biologist Keith Fischer Monday in the learning center at Butterfield School in Libertyville. Fischer, who works with the Fish and Wildlife Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla., discussed ecosystems with the students.
    Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

 
By Gilbert R. Boucher II
gboucher@dailyherald.com

Fourth grade students at Butterfield School in Libertyville learning about ecosystems and marine life had some expert help Monday from 1,200 miles away.

Marine biologist Keith Fischer, who works with the Fish and Wildlife Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida, video-chatted with about 100 Butterfield students eager to learn about sea life.

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After Fischer explained his job and the ecosystem around the Florida coast, students took turns asking questions including "What is the largest fish that you have ever see?" "What decomposers are in the ocean?" and "How do scientists come up with strategies to catch fish without damaging the environment?"

"I want to be a marine biologist, too," student Dakota Lyons said after asking Fischer about courses to take in college. "This is really cool!"

Teacher Julie Serrecchia arranged the video chat through personal friends. The presentation was set up through Google Hangouts.

"I am always trying to integrate technology, and this was a wonderful way to do that," Serrecchia said.

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