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The Academies of Hampton launch the Floating Classroom restoration with a ribbon cutting

During a ceremony on June 28, 2023, The Academies of Hampton of Hampton City Schools (HCS) launched the restoration of their Floating Classroom with a ribbon cutting ceremony. The houseboat, which is known as the Floating Classroom, will be converted into a STEM+Lab by HCS students over the next year. The restoration launch included student exhibits and a presentation that included academy students, School Board Chair Dr. Richard Mason, Superintendent Dr. Jeffery Smith, City Manager Mary Bunting, Mayor Donnie Tuck, and Captain Barrington Irving from the Flying Classroom.


In partnership with the Flying Classroom, this innovative redesign will bring educators and community partners together to engage students as they explore and develop real-world and marketable skills in a non-traditional setting exploring what is in the waterways and constructing a boat design. 


Students from all four high schools, encompassing all 16 academies, are creating, designing, performing demo, and building the STEM+Lab alongside industry trade professionals and community partners. Upon completion of restoration of the boat, the classroom will be available and open for HCS teachers to use for learning with their students in all grade levels.


With its inception in 2015, Hampton City Schools has significantly transformed and improved its high schools through the Academies of Hampton with 16 wall-to-wall academies and 44 offered pathways. 

The Academies enable students to learn through the lens of a career or academic theme in a relevant, hands-on learning environment with real-world application and experiences. Each academy provides a highly personalized, small learning community, where students learn English, science, math and social studies within the theme of their academy. Through their academy experiences, students are exposed to a multitude of careers and opportunities, industry skills, and potential employers by way of classroom speakers, site visits, job shadowing, and internships. The Academies support the community’s commitment to provide students more of the advanced skills they need to be productive, engaged, and successful citizens in college, career, and life.