Brookland Students Win Big at East Lab Competition

BROOKLAND, AR (KAIT) -- High school students are always looking ahead to the future and trying to better prepare for tomorrow.  A group of kids at Brookland high school have been doing just that and were rewarded in a big way at their recent East Lab competition.

"East Lab is not about one focus project, it's about several focus projects that every kid leads and want to participate in," said senior Dalton Herzig.

Service projects, helping groups and becoming part of organizations are all thing Brookland students do to make their community a better place.

"I get to go out in the community and do all these projects and it involves working one on one with community members as well as school members and it just builds your confidence when you can go out there and do that," said senior Kelia Holt.

It's also part of the East Lab curriculum and competition. Brookland's East Lab has been competing for eight years and was a finalist last years to the Founder's Award.

This year the 40 students beat out more than 2,000 kids to take home the top honors, including $15,000 worth of computer equipment, programs and even a cd duplicator. Tools these students will use in the classroom to prepare for the future.

"That is what east is about is for students to learn to do life and they learn how to do project based community service projects. They are responsible; I'm not really responsible for them. I have to maybe motivate them and keep them on task. They come to me and ask for guidance, but they are in charge," said East Lab facilitator Cindy Whitaker.

The students at Brookland will not be eligible to win the Founder's Award next year, but it isn't slowing the group down.  The East Lab is planning several other projects including a county asset map for the Rural Heritage Development Initiative and Arkansas Delta Byways.