Over the last few years, Guelph teacher Joe Grabowski has shared his passion for science and exploration not only with his students at St. John Catholic Elementary School, but also across the continent.

Grabowski’s non-profit organization Exploring by the Seat of Your Pants uses Google Hangouts to connect classrooms with scientists and explorers for interactive video chat sessions. He is among the 14 scientists, conservationists, storytellers and innovators who make up the National Geographic Society’s 2017 class of Emerging Explorers – each of whom receive $10,000 from Nat Geo for research and exploration.

For Grabowski, technology can “open up some of the most remote places on our planet to classrooms,” he said.

The program uses BGAN units — devices about the size of a textbook — that can be connected to a computer and pointed to a satellite to allow video broadcasting from nearly anywhere on the planet.

Grabowksi is one of many teachers in the Catholic education system committed to community connectivity. Whether it’s local or global, communities are stronger together. As is faith.

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