BENNINGTON -- Students in Donna Stone's fourth-grade class at the Molly Stark School received a pleasant surprise last Tuesday, when a question one of them submitted was answered on the Discovery Education webinar series, "Of the People."

"This is a good one"

The episode was entitled "Exchange for a Day" and featured first lady Michelle Obama, who recently concluded an official trip to China, and George Mason University student Jeffrey Wood, who is studying abroad in China, answering questions submitted by students.

"We have one last question, and this is a good one," said Obama with a few minutes left in the 20-minute program, "I'm curious about this as well. The students of Molly Stark Elementary School, in Vermont, want to know, outside of school, what do you do for fun in China?"

"What I do for fun in China, for example, I go play tennis with my Chinese roommate, or we play badminton, or we run together," answered Wood, "We do a lot of extracurricular activities, playing ping-pong, or we'll do Tai Chi, and participate in these types of activities, as well as going to the movies. Most of the things I do for fun in China involve having a lot of people, not really doing things for fun on your own."

Obama commented that what Wood does for fun in China sounds very much like what he would do for fun in the U.S. "Yes, the things I do back home are the same things I do in China. So, there really isn't that much of a difference in the extracurricular activities I do at home, versus in China."

Stone's class had been following the first lady's blog about her trip to China, and watched the webinar live at 1 p.m. The question had been submitted by a student named Dyani, according to Stone.

While this episode was filmed in China, "Of the People" typically broadcasts live from the White House, and features students alongside White House officials. Discovery Education provides classroom materials to help teachers prepare their students for the webcasts, which Discovery Education calls "virtual field trips."

Superintendent Catherine McClure mentioned and congratulated the students at the Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union board meeting last Thursday.

The webcast is available online at www.discoveryeducation.com.

Derek Carson can be reached for comment at dcarson@benningtonbanner.com. Follow him on Twitter @DerekCarsonBB¡