Houston Floating Classroom

Floating Classroom

The Texas Marine Advisory Service’s Floating Classroom Program, part of the Texas A&M University System, is a public service program for students in grades four through 12, made possible partly through your support of MTS events and activities.

Operating out of Matagorda, the Floating Classroom offers students a unique learning adventure, aboard the R.V. Karma, a fully-equipped 57-foot teaching and research vessel.

Students spend a day at the facility and onboard the vessel, participating in a variety of hands-on activities and using an array of research equipment to collect, identify and analyze samples and specimen of coastal resources. The vessel’s equipment, which includes otter trawls, plankton nets, water samplers and test kits, bottom corners and video-enhanced microscopes, allows students to investigate topics such as marine biology, ecology, fisheries and environmental impact. Onboard marine educators and coastal naturalists guide the students and ensure that the program addresses the students’ interests and understanding ability.

In addition to the discovery cruise, students generally participate in a variety of onshore exercises and observations designed to enhance the boat experience.

MTS Houston Section is helping to fund the Floating Classroom. As an MTS member/participator, your event sponsorship and involvement in MTS activities help make this program not only a possibility, but a reality.

Each year, nearly 1,700 Texas youngsters in grades 4-12 participate in this program. In mid-May 2007, the Sea Grant Extension teaching vessel, the R/V Karma, made its first visit to Galveston Bay.  Since then it has made numerous excursions. While onboard, school students and youth development organization members from the Houston-Galveston participate in the same hands-on, on-the-water learning experience that have been provided to over 18,000 individuals throughout the state.

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