Ivy Academy now offers the first ever floating classroom and held a ribbon cutting for the special event Thursday afternoon.
High school students taking the science course will be able to learn more about water quality at Harbor Lights Marina in Soddy Daisy. Stephanie Kiefer, Ivy Academy Science Teacher said, "Its amazing. We have a boat. How many schools get to have classes on a boat in the middle of the river. Its wonderful."
The class will be held on a newly remodeled pontoon boat that was built with a grant funding specifically for water quality monitoring. Angie Markum, Ivy Academy Executive Director said, "The boat had been neglected and had a hole in the bottom of it, so we remodeled the boat. The students painted it. We got the equipment. We have a small lab table out there." Students collected samples and demonstrated what they will be doing on their floating classroom. Kiefer said, "We are going to assess the Tennessee River for the chemical properties and the physical properties, and dive down to the bottom, and get a sample of the sediment to see what kind of macroinvertebrates live at the bottom of the Tennessee River."
The course is designed for environmental science and leadership class students grades nine through twelve. The boat doesn't have a motor, so students will paddle the boat to their sampling sites. Kiefer said, "And by sampling in such a diverse environments, they will be able to see how the different characteristics of such physical properties of the creek or chemical properties actually affect the biological properties." Tegan Aldrich, Ivy Academy Senior said, "I am really looking forward to learning about how clear our water is. We have a creek at our school and if we learn how to test here, we'll learn how to test there too."
The first student excursion on the boat will be in early October.