JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A Region 8 school could get a big honor in March but even more impressive is what students have done for the community.
The Buffalo Island Central High School Environmental and Spatial Technology (EAST) Initiative is 1 of 5 schools from Arkansas up for the EAST 2016 Timothy R. Stephenson Founder's Award.
Jill Sanders, BIC EAST teacher, said in the EAST world being selected as 1 of the 5 is a huge deal, especially considering their program is only 2 years old.
Even more impressive is the more than 10 projects the EAST students will present at the state EAST conference.
EAST incorporates a number of computer and community related projects.
Alex Talavera, junior, designed a hand and printed it on a 3-D printer.
"It cuts down the cost on prosthetics," Talavera said.
Hunter Burns, senior, created a project called "Seeing with Sound," a device used to help the blind detect objects in front of them.
"It will detect an object within 3 feet of it," Burns said.
Burns is furthering the project to use vibration to help those who cannot see or hear.
Drew McFall, junior, works with Arkansas State University. He manages the weather and farmer forecasts on the A-State website.
"Weather, soil, and temperature data," McFall said.
We cannot forget about the EAST project from October 2015.
Students designed a Ghost Rider costume out of PVC pipe for a special needs student.
These are just 4 of a number of projects BIC High School EAST students are taking to state competition.
"It's a class that really challenges your mind," Talavera said. "It challenges your work ethic."
EAST encourages students to think outside the box while also helping the community.
"Several non-profits here that we've been able to partner with," Sanders said.
Those projects include making a logo for Secondhand Serenity and creating an online form for the Butterfly House in Manila.
Other projects include a school wide Veterans Day program, photo restoration for the Buffalo Island Museum and Adopt a Grandfriend.
Win or lose, the students have made a difference in the lives of many and helped a number of non-profits who may otherwise not have funds to do certain work.
BIC EAST Students will present at the state EAST Conference in March where they will find out if they take home the top prize.
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