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WSU floating classroom almost complete

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LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) -Winona State University will soon have a classroom on the Mississippi River.

The boat holds about 50 people and will be used mainly for science and biology classes.

The lower deck will be used as the classroom, equipped with cameras, plasma screens, and live-streaming capability, that way students on campus can see what's going on.

The upper deck will also have cameras and wi-fi.  Since every Winona State University student has an IPad or tablet, they can bring those on board.

Tom Hill of the Winona State University Teaching, Learning, & Tech. Services says, "I'd like to think of it as they can use it for anything, one way is they can have a group in here and have an instructor can show what might be outside the boat without everyone having to get in the bow or up on the deck, so whatever content they want to capture they can bring in here."

SkipperLiner of La Crosse has spent many hours since October building the boat.

The vessel is funded with private donations and support from Winona State and the WSU foundation.

The university plans to have it out on the water this Summer. The boat is named after Calvin R. Fremling, the late professor Emeritus of Biology.

Fremling was known for his knowledge of and passion for the Mississippi River.


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