On November 10, an excited crowd at the Connecticut River Academy cheered as the newest addition to their school — a unique, 40-foot student research vessel — returned to the dock after its inaugural trip on the Connecticut River. “This vessel is the last piece of the puzzle to complete CTRA,” Principal Linda Dadona said of the boat, dubbed the R.V. Goodwin Navigator. “I want to thank everyone here who, over the last four-and-a-half years, worked toward this moment.”
The only freshwater school research vessel of its kind in the region, the Navigator will offer the students of the environmentally-focused school unprecedented access to two-and-a-half miles of Connecticut River coastline. “Today scholars, educators, and I were able to use this vessel for the first time,” CTRA junior Cameron Schmelter said of the inaugural trip. “I am honored to be a student at CTRA, and I hope that all students push to be able to use this vessel as much as they can.”
The research vessel can carry 28 students at a time along with its crew, and has a bow door designed to fold down so that students can offload right onto the banks of the Connecticut River to conduct their research into one of Connecticut’s most diverse natural environments.
“This is part of Goodwin College’s commitment to opening the Connecticut River to our students,” said Todd Andrews, Goodwin’s Vice President of Economic and Strategic Development. “Our students will get to access the history of the Connecticut River every day thanks to the R/V Goodwin Navigator.”
“It connects you with the river, the campus, and your learning opportunities,” Goodwin’s Dean of Magnet Schools Alan Kramer told the assembled students. “We want to congratulate you all.”