More than a dozen students in the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Sculpture I class have spent the last four weeks working on a special project called “The Great HIP Race” that engages both their artistic and their analytical sides.

Using materials such as wood, PVC, silicone, beads, and paint, the students of Sculpture I were divided into three teams, to create boats that they hope will float, and get to the finish line the fastest. The boats will hit the water on Wednesday, April 15, at lunchtime for the ultimate “sink or swim” exam.

The boats, created by undergraduate students, demonstrate high-impact practice, also known as HIP, which is an experienced-based style of learning.

“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. “Students engaged in high-impact practice often see improvement in grade point averages, get their degrees more quickly, and are more engaged in their education.”

Each boat was designed in a different theme, and students will be dressed in costumes to match that theme. The event is free and open to the public.