Science sets sail


The Maritime Academy of Toledo prides itself on delivering a tuition-free, nautical-themed public education for students in grades 5-12.  For the 2010-2011 school year, that curriculum will be enhanced by a new vessel and a grant to build underwater robotic vehicles. 
MAT superintendent, Renee Marazon, announced in April that the school had used education grants and private donations to purchase a 41-foot 1946 Erie American Boiler Works boat.  “The goal is to have students refurbish the vessel next school year and utilize it for marine science education and research on the Maumee River and Maumee Bay,” she said.  Additionally, MAT has been awarded a $1,500 grant to build three underwater robotic vehicles.  Students will assemble the three construction kits and disassemble two of them at the end of the year for future classes while the third will remain aboard the new education ship to be named Mariner I. 
Aiding in water themed science education, the remote control robots will allow MAT students to observe soil erosion, invasive species, water quality, aquatic capture, and ice flow studies.  “The end result is a unique opportunity for our students to learn more about the marine sciences happening in their own backyard,” said Marazon. “It allows for some highly educational field trips to enlighten students to the maritime and marine sciences.”