MAST Academy students assist President Mark B. Rosenberg and Miami-Dade County Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho in cutting the ribbon in front of Biscayne Bay Campus’ Academic I on the academy’s inaugural day. Photo by Diego Saldana.
Diego Saldana/Staff Writer
On the morning of Aug. 18 the Maritime Science Technology Academy at the Biscayne Bay Campus welcomed its first freshman class.
University President Mark B. Rosenberg and Miami-Dade County Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho commended the joint venture between the institutions.
Rosenberg and Carvalho, followed by several members of the press, entered a second floor classroom in Academic One full of freshmen MAST students, each with their own Microsoft Surface tablets. Both men welcomed and congratulated the students for being the inaugural class.
“FIU is a leader in STEM – science technology, engineering and math education – throughout the country and this is just another opportunity to provide our students with the leading edge so once they graduate from college they’re going to be prepared for all the challenges that they are going to meet,” Rosenberg said to WPLG Channel 10 reporters.
The curriculum of MAST academy is STEM-oriented. “We are an eight- period day. In addition to their math, science, social studies and language arts our students will be taking an extra science course, this year it will be marine biology,” said Lead Teacher Gina Koch.
The students will also take a course that will teach them how to research and write in AP style and a virtual physical education course or another elective through Florida virtual schools.
The students will have another additional elective of their choosing that will provide them with the chance to interact with University professors , “ the professors…that we have here [at the University] might come be guests lecturers in our classes. It’s our goal to build a partnership so that we have those [University] professors coming in and providing those experiences for the students,” said Koch.
Freshmen Sebastian Suarez is one of MAST’s students. The 14-year-old has plans to become a doctor and believes the program will accelerate him academically. “I can get farther with the MAST program at FIU and a better education.”
Freshmen Fedlyne Aristile aspires to become an FBI agent. ”I think it’ll benefit me better because instead of going to a normal high school getting normal classes they give us advance classes like geometry honors and actually guaranteeing us to have two years of college done once I’m in the 12th grade,” Aristile said.
Both MAST students seemed to feel right at home.
“I think the campus is a very nice campus. It makes me feel comfortable,” said Aristile
Suarez agreed. “I find this place beautiful,” Suarez said.