Manila students up and running with EAST Initiative projects

Tuesday, October 1, 2013
MHS members of the installation team are Mary Kathryn Farrow, Makenna Baker, Hailey Bell, Seth Grissom and Scott Eubanks.

Manila High School students are excited to be part of the first year of the EAST (Environmental and Spatial Technology) Initiative at MHS.

Manila was approved to be included in the EAST educational model which focuses on student-driven service projects, accomplished by using teamwork and cutting-edge technology. Robin Baugher, MHS high school principal, applied for the grant and representatives from EAST made a site visit during the last school year.

Christy Woody, facilitator for the new class, said she has over 100 students involved and they are off to a great start.

Learning how to use the printer for banners and posters.

The classroom was set up and equipped with over $100,000 in the latest technology. The classroom was set up in Tipton Hall, in the former business room.

Several students were involved in the installation and placement of the equipment. The student installation team included Mary Kathryn Farrow, Seth Grissom, Scott Eubanks, Makenna Baker and Hailey Bell.

The classroom has been equipped with 11 HP stations, four MAC stations, three printers, Pro Book; two 3200 Nikon digital cameras, Cannon Sure Shot, video camera, green screen; I Pad; Nexus Tablet, large screen remote television with mobile stand, a large variety of software including CAD design, 3D animation suites, and much more.

EAST classroom facilitator Christy Woody and EAST student Mary Kathryn Farrow look over plans for future projects.

Also popular with the music enthusiast is the equipment including a keyboard, and the software for mixing music. The students can also make movies. The classroom is equipped with a microphone and equipment for broadcasting much more. The plotter printer gives the student ability to print banners and posters.

Students are responsible for creating their own lesson plans and choosing the community and school projects they want to complete.

Woody said she is very pleased with the projects the students have chosen.

EAST classroom is equipped with technology for all interests.

"They are responsible to choose the project, set up the interviews, set the goals and take their projects from start to finish," she said.

Some of the projects the students are working are include videos from kindergarten through the first grade to help with literacy; Seniors helping Seniors is a group of high school seniors working with senior citizens; mapping out sidewalks for the city; a city beautification project; creating a teen pregnancy prevention video; working with the chemistry class in taking water samples throughout the area and documenting information to check the quality of the drinking water; mapping pot holes in the city streets to determine a priority list of repair; creating a video for the elementary parent group on positive behavior; a tutoring program before and after school for high school students; an elementary student identification project working with the local police department on finger printing and photos creating identification cards for all students; a MHS alumni memorial directory and a alumni professional directory.

Woody said the students do not charge for the projects but donations are accepted to help with the cost of ink and other materials.

A group from the University of Arkansas visited the classroom on Friday to instruct the students on GPS mapping software.

Students can be a part of the EAST Initiative classroom throughout their four years of high school if they choose to. They will receive a credit in career focus for each year.

An EAST website is being created by senior Mary Kathryn Farrow. It should be up and running at the end of the week.

They are planning an open house from 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 24, for the public to visit the classroom.

"We are excited and we are looking forward to our open house," Woody said. "This is a different approach to learning and it has yielded tremendous results. Students are better-prepared for both college and the business world. I feel fortunate for our school to be part of the EAST model of education."

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