Irmo, SC (WLTX) A group of sixth graders at Crossroads Intermediate School spoke with an underwater archaeologist in Newfoundland Tuesday.
The opportunity was arranged by TED, a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks.
With the power of technology, they joined other students from across the United States, Canada, and the Middle East to learn from "underwater Indiana Jones," Jill Heinerth.
"I thought it was really cool, because we got to see like people from around the world, and we got to meet like an actual deep sea diver, and I've never been deep sea diving," CrossRoads Intermediate Student Mahrukh Iftikhar explained.
"I've never really been out of the country, and I haven't been far out of the state, so it was really cool to see what how different their classes were, some of them, and yeah it was very cool to be speaking with people across the world," CrossRoads Intermediate Student Michael Brewer said.
Heinerth shared her research from her exploration of shipwrecks, ecosystems and climate change and students were able to ask questions.
CrossRoads Teacher Melinda Bullard applied to be a part of Tuesday's event. She said it was an amazing experience to be a part of the first talk in TED's new program, "Exploration Connection."
"Oh It was fantastic, you know, what better way to research than to talk to an actual you know scientist in the field," Bullard said. "The idea of exploring and following your passion."
"It's just like too risky, and I would get scared really easily," Iftikhar said of trying underwater archaeology.
Although some of Ballard's students don't want to be underwater archaeologists when they grow up, she's hoping that them seeing other people explore their passions will inspire them to do the same.
"Students need to learn what their passion is, what they want to do when they get older and how they want to research and learn the basic skills of research," Iftikhar said.
The students in Ballard's Language Arts classes have been researching something they are passionate about and will give their very own TED talk to their class in May.
Bullard uses TED talks every Friday to teach her students research, communications, listening, and speaking skills.
To learn more about Heinerth's research, please visit: https://www.ted.com/talks/jill_heinerth_the_mysterious_world_of_underwater_caves?language=en