EAST Awards Six Beyond the Bell Grants

   

EAST Awards Six Beyond the Bell Grants
6/20/2017 11:24:43 AM

The EAST Initiative, a nonprofit educational organization that promotes students’ use of cutting edge technology in creating community service projects, in conjunction with the Arkansas Department of Education, has awarded grants totaling more than $41,000 to five schools as part of their Beyond the Bell after school and summer grant program.

 

In addition, supported by a donation from the Optimist Club of Greater Little Rock, a sixth school was awarded a further $10,000 grant.

 

These Beyond the Bell grants will be used to support student-led projects that will be undertaken outside of normal school hours, either over the summer or before or after the school day.

 

“The work of EAST students, which centers on improving the communities around them, never stops,” said Matt Dozier, president and CEO of the EAST Initiative. “Our goal is to empower students to guide their own education by choosing the technologies they want to interact with. Over the past two decades, we’ve seen that, when we do that, students become so engaged in learning that the dismissal bell doesn’t stop them.”

 

The five grant recipients (and their projects) are:

 

Buffalo Island Central High School (Monette), which plans to use handheld tablets and GIS software to create maps of gravesites for local veterans. Additionally, the students will use grant-funded video equipment and a laptop to interview Korean War veterans, recording oral history and sharing their interviews with both the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies and the Library of Congress.

 

Cossatot River High School (Cove), which will use a scanner, laptop and 3D printer to work in partnership with the Old State House Museum to create replicas of historical artifacts that can be touched and held, providing a multi-sensory educational experience and an engagement outlet for helping outreach to the visually impaired.

 

Prairie Grove Middle School, which plans to purchase a drone and GoPro cameras to be used as part of a project to identify water and soil contaminants and analyze floodplain data, including erosion mapping, in the Muddy Fork branch of the Illinois River.

 

Sonora Middle School (Springdale), which plans to purchase a 3D printer, scanner, camera and video equipment to design, print and record fully articulated 3D hands, which will be used to teach students American Sign Language (ASL), as well as in recording instructional videos to further learning of ASL.

 

Wynne School District, which will purchase video equipment and microcomputers to build seismographs to distribute across Crowley’s Ridge in an effort to collect data on the New Madrid Seismic Zone for the Central United States Earthquake Consortium. The multi-part project, which includes EAST classrooms throughout the entire district, also involves creating presentations of the data collected to spread community awareness, and includes a partnership with a local hospital to create disaster supply packs.

 

Additionally, funding from the Optimist Club of Greater Little Rock allowed for the grant support of:

 

Pulaski Heights Middle School (Little Rock), which will incorporate Chromebooks, a 3D printer and laser cutter into a planned summer day camp for incoming fifth and sixth graders at the school, the purpose of which is to introduce them to 3D modeling and printing and encourage interest in science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) fields.

 

 

About the EAST Initiative

 

The EAST Initiative is a nonprofit educational organization that provides all learners the opportunity to have relevant, individualized, life-changing educational experiences. EAST supplies students with the latest in sophisticated hardware and software tools and challenges them to apply this cutting-edge technology in identifying and solving problems and improving the communities in which they live. Students engage with community partners and master the tools of tomorrow’s tech-driven workforce, all while pursuing their own interests as they develop and complete service projects. Meanwhile, they also develop collaborative, team-oriented skills of project management and delivery. In addition to establishing these unique classrooms and offering technical support, the EAST Initiative also offers powerful technology training both to students and educators, including providing professional development focusing on integrating technology into any classroom, regardless of subject. For more information, visit www.eastinitiative.org.

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