Pearl Hall Elementary Skypes with Renowned Oceanic Explorer Fabien Cousteau Aboard Underwater Aquarium
Posted on 06/04/2014
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Pearl Hall Elementary third graders took the field trip of a lifetime without leaving the classroom.

Using the latest camera technology, Fabien Cousteau, grandson of renowned oceanographer Jacques Cousteau, has taken his grandfather’s legacy to new depths aboard the NOAA’s subaquatic space station – the Aquarius. He decided to share his underwater adventure with Pearl Hall Elementary via a live Skype video call.

“It’s a true joy to be able to see all of these young bright people, and I hope that one day I will get to see them down below at the Aquarius or somewhere in the ocean,” Cousteau said.

A small window behind Cousteau provided a rare glimpse of sea creatures slowly drifting by as he talked to the class about his experience with Mission 31 and life on the ocean floor in the Florida Keys.

“I have been very surprised at how much sea life is around the aquarium,” Cousteau said. “There are a lot of fish here. As a matter of fact, when we turn out the lights, the fish look in at what we’re doing.  It feels like we’re in the aquarium and they’re looking in.”

Excitement and intrigue filled the room as Cousteau took the students on a virtual tour of the “inner-space” station. He introduced some of his crew members to the class and showed the small bunks where they slept.

Several students also had an opportunity to ask the noted filmmaker and oceanographic explorer a few questions about Mission 31.

Equally as thrilled as the students about the live video chat was their teacher Jami Lupold, who has dreamed of getting to explore the ocean floor her entire life.

“I remember watching Jacques Cousteau on TV when I was younger and to have his grandson talk to us underwater, it’s like a dream come true,” Lupold said.

Lupold was instrumental in bringing the Skype session to Pearl Hall Elementary students. Not only did students get to experience life on the sea floor but they also soaked up a few lessons throughout the video chat.

“I learned a lot today, like once you go deeper into the ocean, you encounter a lot of different fish,” Franciso Briagas, a third grade student said during a recap of the video stream.

Mission 31

Cousteau’s endeavor has broken new ground in ocean exploration and also coincides with the 50th anniversary of a monumental legacy left by his grandfather Cousteau, who was credited with creating the first underwater habitats for humans and led a team of ocean explorers on the first attempt to live and work underwater aboard Conshelf Two.

The ambitious 30-day living experiment in the Red Sea succeeded as the first effort in saturation diving, proving that it could be done without suffering any ill effects.

Mission 31 will expand the 50-year-old Cousteau legacy by one full day, 30 more feet of saturation and will broadcast every second on multiple channels exposing the world to the adventure, risk and mystique of what lies beneath.

Skype Video

Skype Video

Skype Video

Skype Video

Skype Video