Manila approved for EAST initiative

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Manila High School Principal Robin Baugher is pleased to announce MHS has been approved to be part of the EAST lab (Environmental and Spatial Technology) initiative. EAST is an educational model focusing on student-driven service projects accomplished by using teamwork and cutting-edge technology.

There will be a new class for the high school for students in grades 9-12. A new staff member will be added.

EAST classrooms are equipped with state-of-the art workstations, servers, software and accessories, including GPS/GIS mapping tools, architectural and CAD design software, 3D animation suites, virtual reality development and more. Students identify problems in their local communities and then use these tools to develop solutions, collaborating with civic and other groups in the process.

Baugher applied for the grant and representatives from East made a site visit to Manila High School. Local committee members working with Mrs. Baugher are Pam Castor, superintendent; Jason Baltimore, technology technician; Angie Gipson, high school counselor; and Wayne Wagner, Manila mayor.

The program will provide over $100,000 in the latest technology.

The temporary home for the new classroom will be in Tipton Hall, in the former business room.

"When we build our new facility, we will know what we will need for the EAST classroom and provide the space needed," Baugher said. "We were notified on Thursday, April 25, and we have been very excited. I think 25 schools applied and they were hoping to be able to fund at least 10."

The focus, however, is not on the technology itself but on the unique learning environment of the EAST classroom, where students are responsible for creating their own project-based learning experience. There are no lectures and no tests. Instead, the students are guided by an East facilitator (a teacher trained in the EAST process). This radically different approach to learning yields tremendous results, Baugher said. Students are better prepared for both college and the business world, and they care more about learning and serving their communities.

The EAST method has been named a model by the United States Departments of Education and Labor and has proven, research-based results.

"We are excited about the program and look forward to the joint school/community projects," Baugher said. "The students and community will benefit."

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: