CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – More than a dozen students in the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Sculpture I class put their projects to the test and competed in “The Great HIP Race,” held during their class on Wednesday, April 15, at University Beach.
Using materials such as wood, PVC, silicone, beads, and paint, the students of Sculpture I spent four weeks creating boats they hoped would not only float, but also win a race around the Corpus Christi Bay. The projects demonstrated a learning style called high-impact practice, or HIP. HIP is an experienced-based style of learning that challenges students to engage both their artistic side and their analytical side.
“HIP happens when students are actively engaged in the educational process, when their learning goes beyond the classroom to be applied in their personal and work lives,” said Greg Reuter, Professor of Art who teaches the Sculpture I class. Reuter says the project is also a great team-building exercise that allows the students to use the woodshop and design skills learned in class.
Students were divided into three teams, and each chose a different theme for their boat, including a Medusa theme, a pirate theme, and a Mardi-Gras theme. Students also dressed up to match those themes.
“It was just so fun to be out there, and to be with everybody else in the class,” said Noe Hernandez, a senior Psychology major who led Team Medusa to victory. “It wasn’t really about winning, it was just about having a great time.”