EAST Partners with State, Facebook in VR Initiative


EAST Partners with State, Facebook in VR Initiative
1/10/2017 2:14:24 PM

The EAST Initiative will be participating in a partnership between the State of Arkansas and Facebook’s Techstart program to provide Oculus Rift virtual reality kits, including headsets, computers and 360-degree cameras, to schools throughout Arkansas.

The partnership, announced last week, is a continuation of efforts by Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson to promote interest in STEM careers in Arkansas students. Such efforts have included statewide coding initiatives, including coding classes and competitions.


“We are honored to have been invited to be part of this exciting new program,” said Matt Dozier, president and CEO of the EAST Initiative. “EAST has been embracing VR technology since the 2003 and promoting its application in the classroom, both as a means of facilitating education directly and learning skills like coding using VR apps. We’re happy to lend our expertise in this area as more students gain the opportunity to engage with this cutting-edge technology.”


The program will involve providing 500 Oculus Rift kits, donated by Facebook, to some 254 Arkansas high schools. The estimated value of the donation is approximately $1 million. Distribution and training on the equipment will be coordinated by the Education Service Cooperative and the STEM Center Network, in partnership with the Arkansas Public School Resource Center, the Arkansas Department of Education, the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub and EAST.



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