By Sigrid Tornquist
Can learning science through the study of biological oceanic projects and learning math through marine fabrication give high school students the tools they need for life after high school? Mike Erickson, MFC, who was a founding board member of the Riviera Beach Maritime Academy, thinks so. And so does the Marine Industry Education Foundation, a cooperative effort of the Marine Industries Association of Palm Beach County and the County Board of Commissioners, and Viking Yachts Co., which were instrumental in launching the marine-based charter high school in 2006.
The Academy sets much of its curriculum based on the marine industry, providing students in grades 9-12 with a rigorous academic program to prepare them for college if desired, or specialized training leading to a career in the marine industry. The program exposes its students to seven career paths within the marine industry and provides internship opportunities in and tours of shops such as Erickson’s Canvas Designers, which represents the marine custom fabrication career path. Visit www.rbmaritime.org.