Floating classroom docks in Port Isabel

Seen are students from the Laguna Madre area aboard a floating classroom. (Staff photo by Craig Alaniz)

Seen are students from the Laguna Madre area aboard a floating classroom. (Staff photo by Craig Alaniz)

By CRAIG ALANIZ
Reporter/Photographer
press@portisabelsouthpadre.com 

The R.V. Karma visited the Laguna Madre area this week providing a floating classroom experience for students from all over the Valley, from fourth grade to undergraduate.

Floating Classroom Program Coordinator Russ Miget said that, with the help of Bridgette Goza of the UTPA Coastal Studies Lab and Marine Agent Tony Reisinger, the Texas Floating Classroom Program was able to make it to the area.

“Where we docked last year was not available, but Tony came through with a new location in no time, and Bridgette scheduled all the classes,” Miget said.

Captains Bryan and Whitney Curry said the mission of the Floating Classroom is to take advantage of the unique teaching platform the vessel Karma provides.

The vessel Karma hosted as many as four classes a day. It took students through the marina and ship channel. Miget said he is happy to take students out of their traditional classroom setting. He said he feels students retain more of the information and have a genuinely good time on the boat.

“I like when kids visit for the second time and are able to teach the lesson themselves,” Miget said.

The vessel Karma sees 60 percent elementary students, 20 percent middle school students, 10 percent college and high school students. Miget said fifth graders that are first introduced to the science exam are the most frequenters of the floating classroom.

The Floating Classroom is docked out of Corpus Christi for most of the year and has affiliations with Texas A&M University. Miget said the Laguna Madre area is the first stop on a tour of the Texas Coast. He said in the coming week the classroom will be in Port Mansfield serving Willacy County schools.

Miget said animals that students get to see from the tour in the area are Butterfly Rays and Spanish Dancers. He said this is the northern most Butterfly Rays will travel and he rarely sees Spanish Dancers in Corpus Christi.

“We love coming out here and being able to give a hands on lesson,” Miget said.

Read this story in the Feb. 7 edition of the Port Isabel-South Padre Press, or subscribe to our E-Edition by clicking here.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.portisabelsouthpadre.com/2013/02/07/floating-classroom-docks-in-port-isabel/

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