Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation Invests in EAST, Innovation Hub

   

Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation Invests in EAST, Innovation Hub
2/2/2015 11:22:30 AM

The Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation joins AT&T in support of the EAST Initiative and the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. –The EAST Initiative and the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub are pleased to accept a $35,000 grant from the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation to support a partnership to develop and encourage entrepreneurship in central Arkansas.

“The EAST Initiative is so very excited about this opportunity to enhance the education that the students of the region are going to be able to have at the Innovation Hub,” said Matt Dozier, the EAST Initiative President and CEO. “Just as in the beginning of EAST, the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation sees the value and vision of what we can do in our partnership with the Hub.”

The matching grant, in cooperation with a recent donation of the same amount from AT&T, will assist with the procurement and setup of technology and equipment to be used in the EAST STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) lab, and provide technical training sessions for students and the community. The Hub is located in the Argenta District of North Little Rock.

“We deeply appreciate the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation’s willingness to provide the support to complete the STEAM lab at our Innovation Hub,” said Warwick Sabin, Executive Director of the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub. “This generous investment allows us to move forward with the EAST Initiative to offer the kinds of advanced education and programs that will increase opportunities and broaden horizons for so many people in our state.”

The STEAM lab will include technology such as Apple iMac computers loaded with professional software, HP Plotter large-format printers, Arduino microcontrollers for coding and professional photography and videography equipment, all available for participants to use.

With support from the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, the EAST Initiative and the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub partnership will expand the EAST learning opportunity into the community to develop and encourage entrepreneurship, especially technology- and engineering-based innovation. The vision of the partnership is to strengthen the infrastructure for economic growth and innovation in central Arkansas through building cutting-edge technology skills in the community.

“Our students must have access to advanced technology and high-quality instruction in order for our state to increase the number of Arkansans prepared for high-skill careers in science, technology, engineering, and math related fields,” said Dr. Sherece West-Scantlebury, president and CEO of the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation. “We applaud the commitment of the EAST Initiative and Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub to build new entrepreneurship and innovation opportunities in Arkansas.”

About the EAST Initiative

EAST (Environmental and Spatial Technology) is unlike any other model in modern education. It is a project-based, service-learning oriented program that provides students with high-end technology available in the most progressive fields in the world. At its heart, EAST is a coordinated effort to provide today’s students with an educational atmosphere that allows them to gain insight into their own abilities to acquire and use information, solve problems and gain valuable experience. Since its inception in 1996, the EAST model has expanded to over 200 schools in five states (Arkansas, Iowa, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania). For more information about the EAST Initiative, visit www.EASTinitiative.org.

About the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub

The Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub is a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing innovative and entrepreneurial activity in Arkansas by creating a collaborative ecosystem and pipelines that mobilize the resources, programs and educational opportunities necessary to develop, attract and retain talent and to build the state’s economy.

About the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation

For more than 40 years, the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation has worked to make a difference by helping to build and sustain the organizations that serve and strengthen Arkansas. Through grantmaking and strategic partnerships, WRF is working to help close the economic and educational gaps that leave too many Arkansas families in persistent poverty. Working together, the needle can and must move from poverty to prosperity for all Arkansans. For more information on the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, go to www.wrfoundation.org.

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