Summer Seminar Session Descriptions

Wednesday, July 9


EAST Initiative Site Support Team & EAST Core Staff

Common topics will be open for discussion. It will be fresh, low-carb, sliced, diced, with a side of guac and an optional hint of essence.




This year's National Service Project will give students lots of opportunities, including real-world reasons for jumping into GIS.  During this presentation, CAST will explore the endless project possibilities utilizing mapping tools and share sample projects focused on this year's National Service Project.


Problem Solving with Programming

Adam Clemons & Doug Gusewelle, EAST Initiative

A basic overview of concepts and critical thinking processes that makes programming so powerful. We show you how programs make decisions based on true/false values with Boolean logic, and how to repeat procedures based on conditions using flow controls such as "do while" and "for" loops. This session will include live demonstrations of code and concepts using Processing and Python languages. No prerequisite knowledge is required.


Zuni 4 Education

Tina McCord, Zuni

Are you interested in learning about some of the best web-based educational resources and interactive teaching tools available to you?  Then, this session is right where you need to be!  Tina will share a few of the resources that can be used for your EAST program and in your curriculum-based classes. She will also spend some time educating you on Zuni, a platform that provides content management, learning management and professional development all in one location.


Round Table: It’s More than Just the Projects

Lori Andrews, EAST Facilitators, & EAST Core Teachers

These fast-paced, roundtable discussion sessions cover how the EAST program and EAST Core are more than just the projects. Lead by experienced facilitators and teachers, each mini-topic will provide useful tips and advice in several areas. You will choose two of the following three topics.

  • Collaboration - David Martin, Hot Springs High School (EAST Core)

    • Find out how EAST facilitators can collaborate with content teachers to strengthen project sophistication within their classroom.

  • Soft Skills - Chris Oestreich, Bismarck High School

    • It has been suggested that in a number of professions, soft skills (communication, conflict resolution, personal effectiveness, creative problem solving, strategic thinking, team building, and leadership skills) may be more important over the long term than occupational skills. Unlike hard skills, which are about a person's skill set and ability to perform a certain task or activity, soft skills relate to a person's ability to interact effectively with others, a quality that is crucial for success in EAST. Learn about Chris Oestreich’s strategies to help his students improve their soft skills in EAST!

  • Software and Skills Checklist - Jennie Coy, Robinson Middle School

    • Need a quick way to introduce your students to the software in your EAST classroom?  Jennie Coy has a simple checklist to guide your new EAST students through an exploration of various software tools, while allowing returning EAST students to act as experts/mentors during this process.


Hands-on Session: Dive into Programming with

John Henderson, Harrison Middle School

Want to get your students interested in programming but not sure you know enough to get them started?  John Henderson will share why is a great avenue to introduce coding to students in a fun way, how several of his students became nearly obsessed with the "Introduction to Computer Science" class that was offered and how some are now creating animations using code or designing phone apps. is a non-profit dedicated to expanding participation in computer science by making it available in more schools and increasing participation by women and underrepresented minority students.  All curriculum resources and tutorials authored by are free to use under a Creative Commons license, and the technology is developed as an open source project.


Phasing Up with the NSP

EAST Program Team

Come experience some of the boot camp style tactics of our most current Phase Training.  In the process you will leave with several sophisticated National Service Projects.


Thursday, July 10

Morning Sessions


Connecting the Dots

Tami Baker & James Hopper, EAST Initiative

EAST connects the dots between students, business/communities, and the skills needed for today’s innovative world. In the beginning of the EAST Initiative, student-business partnerships formed and created a foundation for relevant education. This still holds true 18 years later. Not only do these partnerships promote civic engagement and youth leadership, they also build stronger communities and economies.  Most importantly, these partnerships encourage our students to become lifelong learners and empowered participants in society. In this session, EAST facilitators and EAST Core teachers will have the opportunity to talk with professionals from different sectors of the business world. What questions can you ask that will spark an idea for your program or maybe direction for a specific student? What benefits has your program realized from student-business partnerships that you are willing to share with others? Come join the discussions and see if you can Connect the Dots for your EAST or EAST Core Program!


Are You Smarter than Your Students?

Reuben Canada, EAST Initiative

Do you ever feel like your students are pulling the wool over your eyes?  Do you ever wonder if your students are working on something for a project, sharpening up software skills, or just goofing off?  This session will share strategies to help you determine what your students are really up to.

*This session received great feedback last year, so we're bringing it back for those who did not have the opportunity to attend.


The Adobe Creative Suite: Uncut, Uncensored and Unabridged

Erica Riley & Calvin Bramlett, EAST Initiative

All you ever wanted to know about the Adobe Creative Suite, and then some! Hear a brief description of the software that makes up the Adobe Creative Suite and see examples of work created with each of these programs so that you can better advise your students on how and when to use each industry-standard software program as part of their EAST projects!


Round Table: Making Connections

Lori Andrews, EAST Initiative & EAST Facilitators

These fast-paced, roundtable discussions cover important topics related to how you can connect the EAST Program or EAST Core to outside resources and Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Lead by experienced facilitators and teachers, each mini-topic will provide useful tips and advice in several areas. You will choose two of the following three topics.

  • Unit by Design (UBDs) - Rinda Hall, Searcy High School

    • Come find out what Common Core and UBDs can look like in the EAST Program or EAST Core. You will hear from a facilitator who has already incorporated this into her classroom and is willing to share her resources with you and learn how you can apply it to your classroom.

  • CCSS - Michelle Bonds, Bald Knob High School

    • Learn CCSS resources and join in the discussion on how they may integrate into EAST classrooms.

  • Outside Connections - Lori Andrews, EAST Initiative

    • You don’t have to know curriculum to understand connections to other content areas.  Find those connections for how EAST Initiative can integrate into other curriculum areas to strengthen projects and ultimately your program.


Hands-on Session: "It say something!" How & Where to Get Help Solving Problems in Your Classroom

Adam Clemons & Eric Holt, EAST Initiative

Before calling EAST Tech Support and being told “plug it in,” what can you do to find solutions to common issues in your EAST Classroom? Online resources from Google, to the new EAST Forums can provide answers to problems you thought were too big to handle on your own.


Afternoon Sessions


National Service Project: Partners, Projects and Planning

James Hopper, EAST Initiative

Join us for a session focused on the new National Service Project. Come meet potential community collaborators that need your help and that want to help your students. Don't worry, there will be plenty of time to brainstorm projects and begin planning for next year.


Conference and Program Overview

Tami Baker, EAST Initiative

Join the Site Support Team as we discuss all things CPO, including program summaries, expectations, ratings, judging and much more! Pull up a chair and get comfy--we just might need all day for this session!


What's in Your EAST?

Marisa Damm, EAST Initiative

Want to know what the new EAST classrooms have in them? How about recommendations for upgrades? Join me in going through this year's new EAST classroom specifications.


Round Table: Educational Media in the Classroom

Erica Riley, EAST Facilitators, & EAST Core Teachers

These fast-paced, roundtable discussions cover important topics related to how you can connect with your students over educational interaction sites.  Learn how teachers have integrated these websites into their classrooms for communication, project management, assignments, feedback, and assessments with their students.  The educational media that will be covered are shown below. You will choose two of the three sites.


  • Mavenlink - Michael Vincent, Hot Springs High School

  • Edmodo - Jesi Barnes, Jacksonville High School

  • Google Communities - Jody Wright, Star City High School (EAST Core)


Hands-on Session: GPS/GIS in a Trimble-less World (BYOD)

Reuben Canada, EAST Initiative

Frustrated with using Trimble GPS units and GIS software in your EAST classroom?  Or are you looking for a cheaper alternative than Trimble? Look no further! Using tablets and cell phones, you can now collect GPS data points and have them automatically show up on a map for all to see.  This session will introduce you to GPS/GIS concepts without the need for Trimble GPS units or software.  

*Note this session is BYOD--you MUST bring an iPhone or Android phone, or an iPad or Android tablet to this session in order to collect GPS data.



Jerry Prince, EAST Initiative & Friends

This session will provide another opportunity to cover multiple topics and newsworthy updates. Announcements, ideas, sing-alongs and terrible knock-knock jokes are included.


Friday, July 11


Grant Writing...So Easy Your Students Can Do It!

James Hopper & Erica Riley, EAST Initiative

In this session we will provide you with a wealth of grant resources!  We will discuss the following:

  • What is possible with grant funds?

  • When should you start planning to write a grant?

  • Where can you find grant opportunities?

  • Why should your students write grant proposals?

  • How do you write winning grant proposals? (samples provided)

  • Who has funded grants for EAST Initiative in the past?

We will have a special guest from the Arkansas Community Foundation ( on hand to share grant opportunities available through ARCF and provide additional information on the types of grant proposals they fund.


Momma said KNOCK You OUT!

Lisa Cook, EAST Initiative

Have you ever told yourself:

  • “I need to get more organized”

  • “I really need to get a form for my students to use for their project”

  • “This summer I’m going to put together a better form for students leaving campus”

  • “I would like to do some kind of application process but I would need to ‘make’ an application”

  • “That one lady at Summer Seminar had a really great form, what was her name?”

  • “I know those EAST people told me there were some forms on the website, where was that?”

Then, did you also say…”Ain’t nobody got time for that!”  Join us for a crazy fun filled session of cutting, pasting, left clicking, right clicking and flat out stealing ideas.  You will have the opportunity to choose the document you want to “KNOCK OUT.” Not only will you leave with your group’s newly created and updated document, but also have access to all the newly created forms.

*Please bring a laptop if you have one; there will also be several available for group use. Please bring any forms you are currently using that can be adapted and shared with your peers.


Beyond Wikipedia: Project research using Community Analyst

Brittany Berry, Helen Tyson Middle School & CAST

GIS isn't all about making maps. Learn how one facilitator is guiding her students to use ESRI Community Analyst and other online GIS tools for background research about most of their projects. See how social, economic, and business demographics can be used by even middle school students to improve the applicability and, most importantly, build the complexity of their projects.


Round Table: We Got Your Back

Tami Baker & Jerry Prince, EAST Initiative
Anita Belew, Nettleton Jr. High School & Sandra Taylor, Nettleton High School

These fast-paced, roundtable discussions are an opportunity for us to discuss one of  the primary goals of the EAST Initiative - supporting our EAST Program facilitators and EAST Core teachers.  With all the testing, assessing, crazy weather, and changes out the wazoo, we know you need support. Sometimes support only needs to look like friends sitting around a table - some sharing their struggles, some sharing their successes and some just taking it all in. Join us in these round-table discussions as we venture into conversations that will hopefully leave everyone feeling like their burdens are just a little lighter than when they arrived! You will choose two of the following:

  • Heroic Failure: Jerry Prince, EAST Initiative

    • “The difference between average people and achieving people is their perception of and response to...failure.” ? John C. Maxwell.  The more you do, the more you fail. The more you fail, the more you learn. The more you learn, the better you get. How can we learn to value failure? How can we move beyond seeing failure as outrageous and difficult to counting it as a learning opportunity that will help us move forward and overcome? Sometimes it is our failures that lead us to our greatest achievements.

  • EASTizing the Outside World:   Anita Belew, Nettleton Jr. High School & Sandra Taylor, Nettleton High School

    • Your program is not…a print shop, a volunteer organization, a club, a raiser of funds, a dumping ground, an arcade, a YouTube party, an EAST I senior babysitting class, the Photo Booth studio for "selfies"  nor free labor! In this round table discussion, facilitators will share their tools for building an EAST Program with a solid reputation where students are recognized as valuable community collaborators.  Bring your facilitator tool belt and let’s see how you EASTize!

  • EAST Program Recovery: Tami Baker, EAST Initiative

    • Our goal is to help support individuals who have chosen to abstain, or are considering abstinence from any type of negative situations. Our approach is through encouragement, providing direction, advocating appropriate use of treatments and coping strategies.


Hands-on Session: Mapping for Dummies

Lori Andrews, EAST Initiative

Learn how ArcGIS Online can easily be used.  A beginners course on the basics of ArcGIS Online and how to get started.  You will also learn basic concepts to integrate into other content areas such as math, science, history and more.


Closing Session

EAST Initiative

One word - Prizes. TONS of prizes!

This page was last updated on Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 2:45:40 PM