Hamburg Middle school recently received approximately $180,000 in equipment from the Environmental and Spacial Technology Initiative, otherwise known as EAST.
The EAST Initiative is a project-based, service-learning oriented program that provides students with high-end technology available in the most progressive fields in the world.
“The curriculum is basically community problems,” Development Coordinator for EAST James Hopper said. “The students have to identify problems in the community and use our equipment to solve it. If you challenge these students to use these materials to solve real world problems, they get real world experience.”
Hopper said EAST is about providing children with access to innovative and cutting edge technology. EAST strives to give students educational opportunity outside of the traditional classroom.
“Why give a student a book that will take weeks to read when we can give him a program and after 15 minutes he can figure it out and work it better than I can?” Hopper said.
Among other things installed, Hopper and his team brought 3D printers and an Oculus Rift to install in the EAST lab at the Hamburg Middle School.
Hopper brought a team of tech gurus with him, but they weren’t there to install the equipment.
Instead, they were only there to oversee the installation because EAST lab teacher, Hayley Cox, chose 8 students to install and set up the new lab. Cox chose eight graders Ethan Miller, Luis Soto, Xaniah Johnson, Daniel Valencia, Christian Ceja, Andrew Lewis, Avery Martin, and Araceli Mondragon to assemble the new equipment.