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Islander Art Students Showcase Boats at ‘Great HIP Boat Parade’

December 09, 2015

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CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Give a student a boat, he sails for a day. Teach a student how to build a boat, he sails for a lifetime – and may just get an ‘A’ in art class.

The Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Department of Art Sculpture I class participated in the “Great HIP Boat Parade” on Nov. 23 at University Beach. The assignment, which challenged students to sculpt functional boats while developing technical woodshop skills, demonstrated high-impact practices, also known as HIP. HIP are an experienced-based style of learning that offers students the ability to engage both their artistic side and their analytical side.

“The boat parade was a success,” said Greg Reuter, Professor of Art. “All of the boats were seaworthy, and in the process of making the boats, students learned how to use power tools and pattern sheets to create boats mostly made of plywood.”

Students were split up into three teams and had four weeks to put their boats together. Teams chose the names Bay Rats, Conquistadoras, and the Funky Flying Rhinoceros.          

“Each team used their team name as a theme, and some even made matching silk screen shirts,” said Reuter. “I like when my students have a sense of humor.”

The parade took students a short distance into the bay, just long enough to test the vessel’s seaworthiness, though student’s were not tested on a sink or swim scale.

“The students were given individual grades based on classroom observations,” said Reuter. “But really, the grade isn’t the most important part of this project. It’s the creative process and learning how to use problem-solving skills and how to work in a team.”