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East Hartford Magnet School Has New River Survey Ship

East Hartford - until this week, in the Connecticut River college students, an environmental science magnet school, on the river mainly by reading it, observe it from the coast to the.
"We have never been in the river, never," said Michel saulis, the environmental research theme coach in school.

Enter the Goodwin Navigator, a 40-foot research vessel that will enhance river studies by placing students on the water, giving them access to insects, fish, plants invasive species, sediment from the riverbed, and the ability to take water samples from multiple depths.

Fifteen students and seven adults took a short ride on the newly acquired Navigator Wednesday morning. The students took part in a scavenger hunt to become familiar with areas of the boat like the helm, bow, stern and some equipment.

"Having a boat like this and being able to go on the river — it's a mobile classroom," said environmental science teacher Amanda Malinowsky.

Ninth-grade student Dejanarah Pollard, 14, said this was her first time being on a school-related boat trip.

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"It's nice to experience our river," she said.

The boat was acquired in a joint venture between the school and Goodwin College, which owns and operates the school, said Alex Henschel, magnet school specialist at Goodwin College. Students at the college will also use the boat.

A company in Mobile, Ala., custom-built the boat with twin six-cylinder engines, a 500-gallon fuel tank, a bathroom, a winch, a depth finder, VHF radio and hailer. The front bow door is designed to fold down like a landing craft so students can unload onto shore.

Other equipment on the boat includes hip boots, a microscope, an Ekman dredge and a fish shocker. It can carry 28 students, plus the crew.

Saulis sees the boat opening up learning opportunities beyond environmental science. Students can learn about the history and geography of the river, environmental issues and urban development, she said.

"The social studies department is very interested in having lessons on the river," she said.

She sees envisions future trips down the river to the Connecticut Science Center, where the sixth floor features an exhibit on the river. She also anticipates the school partnering with the Connecticut River Watershed Council, helping the Fish & Wildlife Service and working with the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

"Obviously this [boat] will deepen our knowledge of the river by being on the river," she said.Source:courant.com

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