Lindblom high school students build camera to study Antarctic fish

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A Chicago teacher inspired her students to build an underwater probe that captured images of unique arctic fish.

And the students shared their thoughts with the scientists using the probe in the Antarctic.

"This project was so unique and one of those opportunities that no one else has," Andrea Bossi, a senior, said.

A Chicago South Side high school class project made its way to the South Pole. It sank and succeeded.

"Here's an independent system, photographic system sent deployed in Antarctica, completely designed by these high school students," Paula Dell, a teacher at Lindblom Math and Science Academy, said.

Under the direction of Dell, the high school students built an underwater camera probe called Fish Spy 2 or "Sharp Shooter."

The earlier this year the students sent Sharp Shooter to Antarctica to help scientists study a unique species of ice fish. Those fish are the only vertebrae without red blood cells.

On Wednesday morning the students got a chance to Skype with the team of scientists in the Arctic Circle about their work and see the some of the images their camera captured.

"I started to see the picture, I didn't know that what we had done would actually come out a success," Faith Jones, a senior, said.

"Just seeing the pictures like it feels so real now that what we did here in this building is actually down there getting footage," Bossi said.

This project was part of a partnership with the national science foundation and U.S. Antarctic Program giving students a chance to take part in professional research.

"It sort of brings real world science into the classroom and it's so much fun to do this stuff," Dell said.

Scientists told the students that Sharp Shooter allowed them to collect more data on fish and gave them tips for the next Fish Spy model

"You think in a professional career, you create something that makes change but I'm 18 and that happened right now," Jones said.

And the innovative work will continue. Dell and her students are in the running for a $10,000 grant from MIT to build Fish Spy 3.
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