Interactive Videoconferencing

Banner for IVC webpageThe Gitchi Gummi Connection is an interactive program that connects learners to Great Lakes Aquarium right from their classroom using videoconferencing technology.  Programming is aligned with academic standards and is available for students of all ages.  Individual classes focus on aspects of freshwater biology, ecology, and limnology and will engage students with interactive activities, games, and stories.  Each experience features an underwater component which brings students below the surface into Great Lakes Aquarium tanks!

Class Offerings

Urgin’ for SturgeonIMG_3164

Grade level: K-3rd

Fee: $70

Program length: 30 mins

In the icy cold depths of Lake Superior’s waters is a BIG fish with a BIG story to tell – the Lake Sturgeon!  Students will learn what makes this fish unique, get a SCUBA diver’s view of hand-feeding the sturgeon in our 45,000 gallon tank, see how they measure up to different sturgeon around the world, and learn about the conservation of this ancient fish!

Food Web In-MotionIMG_3046

Grade level: 4th-7th

Fee: $120

Program length: 1 hour

From the tiny plankton to the hefty siscowet, follow the organisms that make up Lake Superior’s dynamic food web as they perform daily vertical migrations through the lake’s water column.  Students will act out the various components of the Lake Superior food web, guess which organism functions as the star player, and meet a live representative.

Aquatic InvadersIMG_3094

Grade level: 4th-7th

Fee: $120

Program length: 1 hour

An ecosystem is a special place where many different organisms all play a different role.  Sometimes, something shows up that does not belong and changes everything!  This ‘something’ is called an invasive species.  In this class, students will participate in interactive activities to investigate the what invasive species do, where they come from, how they spread, and what the students can do to keep their favorite lakes and rivers invasive-free!

Culvert Design & EngineeringIMG_3023

Grade level: 7th-12th

Fee: $120

Program length: 1 hour

What is a culvert?  What is its function ? How has the design of culverts changed over time to accommodate new information about stream ecology?  Students will use their engineering skills and common classroom materials to model their own culvert designs and meet changing parameters.


Totally Turtles – Grades K-3rd

Water is Weird – Grades 4th-7th

To register: Contact Emily Wartman by phone at 218-740-2000 or email at

Technical details: We use a Cisco C40 codec system with a public IP and H.323 connection.  Symmetrical call speed of 384 or 512Kbps is required.

This project was funded in part by the Coastal Zone Management Act, by NOAA’s Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management, in cooperation with Minnesota’s Lake Superior Coastal Program.  The Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation and Lloyd K Johnson Foundation also provided support.

Have you recently participated in an IVC program with us?  Please fill out a program evaluation.