JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Students at one Region 8 school will return in August to $300,000 worth of upgrades and new technology.
Westside High School students will see a brand new EAST classroom when school starts back.
EAST stands for Environmental and Spatial Technologies and focuses on project-based learning.
Last year, the EAST department received a $300,000 grant from the EAST Initiative in Little Rock.
The money is being used to purchase a 3-D printer, new computers, Mac pro's, software, and television equipment.
All of the new equipment will go into the EAST classroom.
Crews worked Thursday in the classroom to update paint colors, floors, ceiling tiles, and wiring.
Brooke Chapman, Westside High School EAST facilitator, said all of this new technology will go a long way to help students and Region 8 communities.
"Doing community-based projects, but taking it to the next level where we can solve problems for community groups that don't have this type of technology," Chapman said.
Chapman said she is already working on projects for the city of Bono including a mapping project.
"Because the students get to choose what projects they want to do, it's something they become passionate about and that they put in extra time to work on," Chapman said.
Over 100 students will participate in EAST at Westside, and Chapman feels it will prepare them for other courses and the future.
"EAST is an excellent model of where education in general is going," Chapman said. "It's real-life project work where students can incorporate all the things they learn in other classes."
The EAST initiative in Little Rock will be at Westside High School on August 1 and 2 to install all the new equipment.
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