Julie LaConte and her fifth-grade classroom from the Rossman School in St. Louis, Missouri, turned to modern technology to communicate with members of the Haystack Rock Awareness Program on Feb. 21.

They tuned in remotely via Facetime to connect with the program's education and volunteer coordinator Lisa Habecker, accessibility coordinator Andrea Suarez, and outreach coordinator Laura “Pooka” Rice to lead a virtual field trip through the tide pools and zones.

Students in St. Louis had the opportunity to learn ocean science and see mussels, barnacles, sea stars, anemones, sea snails and snail eggs.

“Our doors have been opened this year to virtual based learning and we are very excited to see where this goes,” Habecker said.

A virtual classroom experience at Haystack Rock is approximately 30 to 45 minutes long.

Currently a work in progress, the program works with schools individually to connect with them via Apple platform or Skype. The virtual-led experiences are set up in advance and can cover topics to meet the  need of each classroom.

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