RENO, NV - Call it the evolution of education.
Dilworth Middle School students have been studying Antarctic Marine phytoplankton.
On Friday, they took a virtual tour of a lab in the southern most point of the world with microbiologist Dr. Joe Grzymski, a Desert Research Institute Scientist.
The class has been following "Dr. Joe's" research since the beginning of the school year.
While they have corresponded with him via-e-mail, this is the first uplink they've had with the scientist coming all the way from Palmer Station.
“You know he's in Antarctica and he's just studying all this stuff and he's helping us learn at the school,” says David Lee, a 7th grader at the school.
About a dozen students lined up and asked Dr. Joe questions as varied as does he miss the green to what advice he would have for an aspiring scientist.
The final question posed: "How will he celebrate his birthday on Monday?"
That was when the gymnasium erupted in a happy birthday song complete with signs for Dr. Joe.
The full screen showed the scientist laugh as the moment clearly caught him off guard.
Later he would talk about how his love of science hit him at about the same age as these kids are right now.
“The Dilworth Stem Academy is an example of how science can help out at all levels…. You know we need to invest as much as possible in education, and there really is no excuse not to be doing it,” said Dr. Grzymski.
The kids have clearly touched his life even if they are nearly 8,000 miles away.
He'll be back to visit them in person sometime next month.