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Summer 2019 QUARTERLY





LET'S CELEBRATE! Congratulations to all the 2019 – 2020 EAST-sponsored grant winners! EAST awarded a combined total of $119,500 to 22 schools in the network. For more information visit

BEYOND THE BELL GRANT WINNERS Lakeside Junior High School – Springdale Sonora Middle School Lakeside High School – Hot Springs Harrisburg Middle School Helen Tyson Middle School Pottsville High School

UPGRADE GRANT WINNERS Beebe Junior High School Bentonville High School Buffalo Island Central High School Central Junior High School Eagle Mountain Magnet Elementary Greenbrier Middle School Hackler Intermediate School Joe T. Robinson Middle School

Lakeside High School – Hot Springs Lamar High School Nettleton High School Prairie Grove Middle School Southside Charter High School – Batesville West Fork Middle School White Hall High School Wilson Intermediate School

SMITHSONIAN MUSEUM ON MAIN STREET AWARD WINNERS Cross County High School Gentry Intermediate School Kiamichi Technology Centers – Eufaula High School Kiamichi Technology Centers – Talihina Lamar High School


2019-2020 Training Locations and Dates

September 17 September 24

EAST Initiative, Little Rock, AR EAST Initiative, Little Rock, AR

October 22 October 29 November 12

Northeast AR Education Cooperative - Walnut Ridge, AR Southeast AR Education Cooperative - Monticello, AR EAST Initiative, Little Rock, AR

If you have any questions contact Rinda Hall at

September 24 October 16 November 6

EAST Initiative, Little Rock Nettleton High School, Jonesboro Southeast Arkansas Education Service Cooperative, Monticello

November 13 December 11

Sonora Elementary School, Springdale EAST Headquarters, Little Rock

If you have any questions contact Tami Baker at


*Cue Fresh Prince and DJ Jazzy Jeff* “Summer, Summer, Summertime! Let’s just sit back and unwind!” Happy summer, folks! As I close out my first summer at EAST, I am reminded to relax and reflect on all things EAST and how it’s time to start planning another year of experiences, investing, growth, and change. For some, this is a time of adventure and travel or relaxation and reflection. But for others, it’s been spent immersed in private lessons, tutoring, and college prep. College readiness is more than academic preparation.


Thankfully, in the EAST network, students don’t have to wait until summer to take an adventure, reflect, or see their return on investment for their hard work and creativity. Just ask some of the EAST alumni about life after the EAST experience. Whether it’s crowns, computer science, or environmental engineering, our alumni are successfully living their individual return on investment and are looking to partner with you to continue changing the world one project at a time! Flip through for a little inspiration on and off the stage with Miss Arkansas 2018 and 2019, and see how giving back to the community doesn’t end after you graduate! This issue connects you with a few EAST alumns as they tell you about life after EAST and how EAST helped them establish their careers and share a little motivation as we head back to school!




Telling the east story





Read this and previous issues online at

EAST Alumni are showing us a true return on investment with unique jobs, higher education, and making a difference for equity in education.

Geek Speak: NWA 3D



MAGAZINE TEAM Editor - Apryl Jackson Designer - Dave Lewis

EAST Alumni Network

Check out our new project led by alumni Capillya and Kyle Uptergrove!


Apryl Jackson Communications Coordinator

6215 Ranch Dr. Little Rock, AR 72223 501.371.5016

EAST at North Little Rock High School wins a national grant competition and builds computers for the entire school to use.

Learn 3-D printing lingo and how it all works!

Check out back-to-school memories with EAST Staff.

Disclaimer The publisher cannot accept responsibility for any unsolicited materials lost or damaged in the post. All text and layout is the copyright of the EAST Initiative. Nothing in this magazine may be reproduced in whole or in part without the express written permission of the copyright holder. All copyrights are recognized and used specifically for the purpose of criticism and review.








magine coming to EAST each day with tons of great ideas and projects, but not quite having all the materials you dream of to bring them to fruition. Close your eyes and imagine again that your EAST facilitator told you to create a wishlist for EAST— no limitations— detailing how much you would achieve with everything on the list. December 26th, 2018 Stan Whisnant, EAST facilitator at North Little Rock High School, opened his eyes, and the eyes of his students, and told them to imagine no more! They had just been awarded $30,000 to accomplish all their EAST dreams.

screens they were awarded to enhance collaboration between them and their peers in EAST at North Little Rock Middle School. Zaragoza shared these details about the contest during his visit.

As the school year came to a close, EAST at North Little Rock High School (NLRHS) had the opportunity to be a part of a promo commercial for Professional Computer Mall, Inc (PCM) and Intel. It was a final step in celebrating the $30,000 makeover grant awarded to them after entering a contest in October of 2018 that inspired them to imagine how much more they could do with new technology.

PCM is a leading provider of IT products, services, and solutions for businesses of all sizes, including healthcare, retail, and top security platforms. PCM prides itself on providing and developing the latest IT solutions. They have proven themselves through providing experiences with advanced technology since 1987. With an array of certified personnel and valuable partnerships, like Intel, 3M, and Acer, they promise to position their clients for high levels of success in their IT future.

“I almost deleted the announcement email," says Whisnant with a laugh, "it had been so long since we’d submitted the materials that I assumed we didn’t win.” Thankfully, he opened the email and saw that their entry won. They were one of three national winners for the "What Can New Do for You? Workplace Makeover" contest sponsored by PCM and Intel. In May, students spent time with Tony Zaragoza, Intel Partner Champion and Business Development Manager for PCM, and his film crew from Portland, Oregon, Caffelli, showing off the five new computers they built with materials from their winnings. They detailed how they planned to use the two Viewsonic 2

“PCM and Intel formulated a Workplace Makeover contest, and we were looking for three deserving winners that could articulate through letter and video an urgency to transform their workplace. The submission materials were amazing; I didn’t realize they were from students until I arrived in Arkansas. This program just keeps impressing me.”

Whisnant outlined a vision for EAST at NLRHS based on the goals and dreams of the students and then tasked them with creating the submission materials. The students crafted a plan for what they would like to happen, how they would use the new technology, and how it would modernize their EAST environment. PCM’s competition criteria were based on one of their Pillars of Productivity: Productivity, Total Cost of Ownership, or More Security environment, and the submission had to detail why that category best fits that team or organization. Out of 3,000 submissions, one winning applicant for each of the pillars was selected.


“This is my vision, and my kids get nervous when I say I have a vision because they can get a little strange,” says Whisnant with a laugh to Zaragoza. "My vision is to collaborate and communicate across the EAST network—like with our schools in Pennsylvania and Oklahoma even—with more efficiency AND make sure my kids are prepared for the 21st century.” This makeover provided EAST access to technology that has only been on the market for a few months. According to Zaragoza, this program has one of the best sets of computers in the country; not many businesses— let alone high schools have computers with Core i9 capabilities and Optane memory. PCM has furthered the evolution of EAST at NLRHS in numerous ways. From taking more ownership in the maintenance of the classroom, to creating new programs for students outside of EAST to benefit from the newly received devices, PCM and EAST have provided a path for students and facilitators to not only imagine what they can do with new technology but to execute and impact.

Five Intel Core i9 processor-based PCs with Intel Optane memory, GeForce 2080, 960GB M2 memory and liquid-cooled, One HP Sprout Computer system, One HP Elitebook notebook, One 75inch Viewsonic Interactive Touch Display with Intel Unite Collaboration software, One 65-inch Viewsonic Interactive Touch Display with Intel Unite Collaboration software, Two Logitech MeetUp camera conferencing systems, One Flash Forge 3-D printer




his spring EAST teamed up with the talented and supportive alumni duo, Kyle and Capillya (Cap) Uptergrove, to capture the EAST story through the eyes of those who breathe life into it each day—THE STUDENTS! With assistance from the EAST Communications team, Cap and Kyle captured the EAST experience and gave EAST a timeless resource that will aid in expanding our reach. The next time you find yourself struggling to capture all that is EAST and explain it to someone outside the network, have them visit This production breaks down over 20 years of greatness in less than two minutes!

Been to an EAST event since the reveal of the new logo? Does the voice in the new video sound familiar to you? That’s right! Capillya is the mellow yet engaging voice you hear in both videos! Special thank you to The Summit Church of Little Rock for allowing us to film inside your beautiful facility!


Keely Ausburn - Maumelle High School David Ronnel - Little Rock Central High School Caden Carreno - Bentonville High School Jacob Hogan - Vilonia High School Derieus Ellis - Arkansas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired Chole Mitchell - Arkansas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired Ridley Plant - Mineral Springs High School Tiawan Alexander - Mineral Springs High School Montry Guidry - Mineral Springs High School Zakaya Hill - Mineral Springs High School Priscilla Foreman - White Hall High School Eric Tang - Roberts Elementary School Bryah Jackson - Roberts Elementary School S C AN QR CODE Gauri Ghate - Roberts Elementary School T O W AT C H V I D E O ! Reece Johnson - Roberts Elementary School


Hot Springs World Class High School Sonora Middle School Robinson Middle School Bentonville High School Little Rock Central High School J.A. Fair High School





AGE 33 Education Policy PhD Student


Major/School: BA, Political Science, The University of Arkansas EdM, Teacher Education, Harvard University Years in EAST: Two Contact info:

Q: First memory of EAST? A: As a Morrilton High School student, I recall attempting to learn about computer design via a CAD program the school installed on our computers. Though I was often extremely confused, I found it fascinating that I could complete work in high school that was not related to my traditional core courses (i.e. English, Math, Science, and Social Studies). It was also great to learn something considered new and innovative.

Q: Why did you decide to participate in EAST?

A: Essentially, I wanted to learn something new and different. Academic achievement was always a priority for us — me and my twin sister, Trina—but I wanted to know what else I could achieve at school. The general conversation around the school was that there was a new and exciting elective being offered and everyone—including me—wanted to take it. Selecting EAST as an elective turned out to be one of the best decisions for us!

Q: Memorable project in EAST you’d like to share?

A: Little moments of self-discovery is what made EAST projects memorable! I recall being the co-lead on a small project with an extremely intelligent classmate, Kelli. She was a year older than me, but we connected and shared a great developmental experience throughout the project. I was learning how to use CAD—Computer-Aided Design— and Kelli was pretty much a genius with the program! She taught me so much. Needless to say, we earned a great grade on the project!

Q: Anything you learned in EAST that you still apply today?

A: EAST was one of the first academic experiences I had in which I completed a long-term project with a classmate; this really activated what is now know as soft skills. It taught me how to work well with others and understand that I may not always have the right answer. More importantly, EAST taught me to listen to other students ideas and understand that everyone’s thought process or path to a solution is different, and that is where true education begins.

Q: How do you serve or give back today? A: I use a lot of my research to give back! Training educators on equity in the classroom is a joy! I also like to volunteer by reading to younger children or donating to non-profit organizations and initiatives that I believe are working to better communities, children, and families in need.

Q: What would you like to see happen with EAST in the future?

A: I would like to see EAST be accessible to students in low-income communities throughout the state of Arkansas, especially in the Delta. A few years ago, I had the honor of working with EAST leaders to bring a class to a school in the Delta, and it was simply amazing watching the students grow into leaders because of their access to the EAST curriculum and conference. Very exciting!

Q: If you could partner with an EAST program to complete a project what would it be? A: If I could work with EAST on a project, it would be the creation of a GIS map to track teacher recruitment and retention within the state of Arkansas. As an education policy doctoral student, I am interested in how school districts recruit, train, and retain teachers and EAST is positioned well to help collect and catalog that data.



RANDOM FACT ABOUT YOU: I once dreamed of becoming a marriage counselor.

Q: What advice would you give to EAST students that are graduating soon?

A: Take advantage of every single lesson and piece of knowledge you gain in high school. Even if you think you’ll never use it, 9 times out of 10, you will. And you will be glad you listened. Promise.

Q: Quote you live by? A: “Be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind. Talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person you meet. Make all your friends feel there is something special in them. Look at the sunny side of everything. Think only the best, be as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.”


AGE 33 Assistant Professor of Engineering Education at Florida International University


Major/School: B.S. Industrial Technology, M.S. Engineering Management, PhD Engineering Education Years in EAST: Two Contact info:

Q: Memorable project in EAST you’d like to share?

A: I can’t name just one project that stuck out to me, but I will say that EAST activated my critical thinking in a way that other classes did not. Critical thinking and the ability to ingest and analyze information has been a crucial part of my success in the academic and professional setting!

Q: What technology did you use in EAST then, and how has it changed today?

A: CAD for sure! Clearly, everything has changed since

education settings. We need to take advantage of programs like EAST on a larger scale, especially within our home state of Arkansas. What I apply today that I used within EAST is thinking outside the box. I was able to take those skills and use them not only within my other courses but at home and within my community.

Q: How do you serve or give back today? A: Today I have dedicated my career and life to

2002! Programs are more sophisticated and technology has advanced in ways that allow students to learn more and produce work at a much faster rate. I do absolutely nothing with animation, graphics, or drawing, but learning that software helped me understand that I can learn new things from my peers and that with hard work and support, unfamiliar territory is the best place for growth! And that is really the beauty of EAST!

improving K-12 education for underrepresented and minority students in STEM through research and handson programming, especially mentoring. I also focus my research and time on advancing STEM education at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and other minority-serving institutions (MSIs), as many of them have been found to do the best job when it comes to successfully preparing and graduating underrepresented minorities with STEM degrees.

Q: Anything you learned in EAST that you


still apply today?

What would you like to see happen with EAST in the future?

A: EAST exposed me to the idea of creating solu-

A: I would like to see EAST become a staple pro-

tions for community-based and state-wide challenges through school-based programming. With education models like EAST and other informal learning avenues such as afterschool or summer intensive programs, education can solve national and global problems. Studies show that K-12 students spend over 81.5% of their waking hours outside of formal

gram for the state of Arkansas. This vision includes local and state municipalities with high levels of decision-making power supporting the model. We have several challenges when it comes to the education system and alleviating poverty, and EAST has the model to help solve some of these challenges in ways that the state has not been able to.


I like to write fiction-based short stories that I hope to turn into short films one day.

Q: What advice would you give to EAST students that are graduating soon?

A: Be very mindful of how you spend your time. Today’s young people grew up entirely on the internet and engulfed by social media, which can be amazing tools but also tools of destruction. Remember to take time out to read an actual book, connect with friends, family, and loved ones, and don’t be afraid to ask for help in times of need. Stay connected to the real world and make the best of your time here on earth.

Q: Quote you live by? A: First one: “The future belongs to those who prepare for it today” ~ Malcolm X 2nd one: “Knowledge is Power” ~ British philosopher Francis Bacon

Q: If you could partner with an EAST program to complete a project what would it be? A: I would create the most extensive state-based literacy program. It would include the most efficient technology (apps, websites, etc.) connected to it so that students, teachers, and adults can share best practices, successes, and more. Even though I focus on STEM education, literacy is one of the most important and influential areas of knowledge development impacting our students and state. We need to start there! Kudos to all the organizations and programs which have invested in literacy initiatives through Arkansas.




AGE 23

Pharmacy Technician (Future Pharmacist)

Major/School: P1 Student at The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Pharmacy During my year as Miss Arkansas 2018, I used Years in EAST: Three Contact info:

many skill sets I learned during my time in the EAST. The most important one being the ability to communicate effectively and efficiently with the people I am surrounded by!

Q: First memory of EAST? A: My family moved to Arkansas a few days before the first day of my 7th-grade year. I went to an open house, and that was the first time I had ever heard of EAST. You couldn’t add EAST to your schedule until your 9th-grade year, but I knew it was something I wanted to experience in high school!

Q: Why did you decide to participate in EAST?

A: When I started in the 7th-grade, I was not allowed to have a cell phone, and I did not have a personal computer or iPad at home. It sounds so crazy saying that today; my 12-year-old brother has an iPhone, an iPad, and access to our iMac. I was intrigued by computerbased learning, but it was different back then. That was 11 years ago.

Q: Memorable project in EAST you’d like to share?

A: One memorable project was serving as the scrapbook chair for EAST Conference. What I loved about working on this was it highlighted all of the community service and activities we did throughout the year. It was a great way to show others through a creative outlet our projects, members, and memories. One thing life experiences have taught me is the importance of journaling. Whether it’s a written journal, scrapbook, or social media grid, documenting your experiences is so vital both historically and personally.

Q: What technology did you use in EAST then, and how has it changed today?

A: We used most of the same computer programs they use today, although now they are all updated versions that allow the students to do so much more. I also think social media is much more prevalent than when I was in school. Facebook was the most used medium, and Vines and Snapchat were the “new” things. It is crazy how quickly things have changed and how it has impacted our daily lives. In 2014, it was something to get 100 likes on a post! No one knew what an “influencer” was, there were not a million different filters and apps, and organizations were just on the cusp of realizing how social media could create interest and image.

Q: Anything you learned in EAST that you still apply today?

A: EAST taught so many valuable things that I used in college, as Miss Arkansas, as a pharmacy tech and now in pharmacy school. EAST made me comfortable with computer-based testing and programs, helped me learn to market myself and skills, and taught me to develop websites. Most importantly, it was one of the first exposures I had in making presentations. Learning to express my ideas adequately, both verbally and using computer programs, has been an invaluable tool over the years.

Q: How do you serve or give back today? A: When I established a nonprofit to advocate for umbilical cord donation to help cancer patients, I contacted the EAST program at my alma mater, Nettleton High School,

RANDOM FACT ABOUT YOU: I don’t like carbonated drinks!

for help. It was a perfect partnership. EAST students helped develop a website, filmed a new PSA series, organized a fundraising walk, designed promotional materials, and presented the project at their state conference. It was the perfect partnership; I received help and new ideas with a very personal project, and students learned the benefits of umbilical cord donation by actively sharing the message. I love telling others this story of how EAST can be a great resource of talent for businesses, community programs, and organizations.

Q: What would you like to see happen with EAST in the future?

A: I would love to see an EAST program in every school in every state. I know how it personally benefited me for the six years, I attended Nettleton schools in Jonesboro, and also after I graduated by utilizing the students’ help. I do not know of any profession in today’s world that does not use some technology. EAST programs are very needed.

Q: What advice would you give to EAST Q: If you could partner with an EAST program to complete a project what would it be? A: My experience of working with the EAST students at Nettleton in 2016 was excellent. I know how much that experience helped me, as a Miss Arkansas contestant, share my platform, and I would love to see those type partnerships continue. How awesome would it be if the EAST programs in the state adopted the reigning Miss Arkansas’ social impact or if Miss Arkansas contestants utilized the EAST programs from their alma mater as I did? This type of partnership promotes a cause, gives purpose, and positively impacts everyone involved.



students that are graduating soon?

A: My best advice would be to continue to develop their skills. I did not realize how lucky I was to attend a school that had an active EAST program until I met people in college who were not as fortunate to have the same experience. EAST gives you a strong foundation that you can continue to build upon and make better.


AGE 19 Business Developer

Major/School: Business Administration (Finance) Economics Lyon College Years in EAST: Six Contact info:

Q: First memory of EAST? A: My first memory of EAST was entering the EAST classroom on the first day of seventh grade and glancing around at all the technology. I was overwhelmed by all the neat gadgets. I remember thinking to myself, “I want to learn how to use all of this.” My first software to work with was Photoshop which I continued to use heavily throughout my EAST career.

were able to teach us more about their country and community. This was an experience where I was able to learn and teach more than just technological skills. I was inspired to complete and follow through with this project because I was able to make a difference and help out a community across the world.

Q: What technology did you use in EAST then, and how has it changed today?

Q: Why did you decide to participate in EAST?

A: I decided to participate in EAST because I received a pamphlet describing the program in the sixth grade. The pamphlet described the community outreach and all the awesome resources EAST provided you with. This was something I wanted to be a part of. I didn’t have the opportunity to learn about any of the equipment or programs outside of school. This was an opportunity for me to gain the knowledge I knew would help me out in the long run. I was always interested in learning about technology, and this was my chance to.

Q: Memorable project in EAST you’d like to share?

A: “Global Classroom” is a project I will never forget. My EAST program was fortunate enough to be able to connect with a classroom in Romania via Skype. Romania is a dry area and agriculture doesn’t prosper there. It was our goal to figure out how we could help students grow a sustainable food source. We were able to ship 3D printers over to a small Romanian village, Sighișoara, Romania. We then taught students how to 3D print all the parts necessary to create a hydroponic drip system. The students would then be able to use these growing systems to grow vegetables. The students in Romania were very thankful for this opportunity and

A: I was able to use a wide variety of technology in EAST. I worked with DSLR cameras throughout my years in EAST and still do. As I moved through my EAST career, I noticed how the quality improved and the different devices and attachments were more available. Computers evolved greatly and continue to as well. Computers are producing better graphics and are more mobile than ever. The GPS plotting devices have become a lot smaller over the years and easier to use than ever before.

Q: Anything you learned in EAST that you still apply today?


I have learned so many skills and valuable life lessons in EAST that I could not have learned anywhere else. The graphic design skills I was able to learn through EAST have helped me greatly in life, I have been able to transfer those skills from the classroom to my job. The soft skills I learned such as teamwork, critical thinking, leadership, time-management, communication, and self-confidence are all skills I still apply to everyday life.

Q: How do you serve or give back today? A: I am interning at the Little Rock Compassion Center. The Little Rock Compassion Center is an inner-city mission focused on a ministry of hope to the homeless, transient, displaced and disadvantaged people in the Little Rock area.

Q: If you could partner with an EAST program to complete a project what would it be? A: I would love to partner with an EAST program who is working towards helping the homeless community. There is a lot of work to be done and the desire to help others starts at a young age. I would like to see an EAST program partner with homeless shelters and see how they can benefit their clients.

RANDOM FACT ABOUT YOU: I was involved in rodeos throughout High School.

I am able to provide many services to the center. I am building a program to help the homeless reenter the workforce. I am teaching clients how to utilize technology. I am teaching the founders how to utilize social media to benefit everyone. The best way I have been able to give back is by helping those who need it the most. I have been able to restructure many lives. I have been able to help so many unemployed homeless clients and work towards having housing. I am able to help turn their lives around. The work I have been able to complete in my internship has been so rewarding and something I will cherish forever.

Q: What would you like to see happen with EAST in the future?

A: I would like to see EAST continue expanding. I would like to see an EAST conference in multiple locations.

Q: What advice would you give to EAST students that are graduating soon?

A: I would tell graduating students to stay involved. Use the skills they were able to obtain in the classroom in the work world. Use the skills you learned to keep serving the community. Never be afraid to pursue your dream.

Q: Quote you live by? A: There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work and learning from failure.” – Colin Powell SUMMER 2019 | EAST QUARTERLY



AGE 26 Environmental Engineer at GBMc & Associates

Major/School: Bachelor of Science in Biological and Agricultural Engineering The University of Arkansas Years in EAST: Three Contact info:

Q: First memory of EAST? A: Before our school established EAST, my twin sister, Nicole, and I attended a summer program hosted by EAST at a school a few towns over. We mainly signed up for something to do for a few weeks. But once there, we realized that this was a whole new world. Students were using handheld GPS units in scavenger hunts, building primitive rockets, and using technology that I had never been around before. I distinctly remember thinking that the students leading the camp had to be much older than us because they seemed so confident and knew so much. I later found out that they were only one or two years ahead of us.

Q: Why did you decide to participate in EAST?

A: When EAST was established at Mammoth Spring High School, I was there for installation and volunteered to unpack the boxes; I was so excited for our rural school and small town! Mrs. Joy Underwood was a fabulous facilitator, source of encouragement, and occasional zoo-keeper (we were teenagers, after all, bless her soul!). She remains a sweet mentor and kind influence in my life today.

Q: Memorable project in EAST you’d like to share?

A: I loved seeing technology in EAST impact Mammoth Spring. A couple of older students and I built our school website, which prompted me to learn to use HTML and coding languages that are similar to ones I had the chance to use in my research in college. I always smile when I reminisce about projects like the voter registration drives and techeducation courses that we hosted, especially enjoying those where we worked with senior citizens who did not have access to this technology.

Q: What technology did you use in EAST then, and how has it changed today?

A: As a student who grew up with a limited introduction to computers and technology in general, I enjoyed the variety that EAST offered.The minor introduction to various software was extremely beneficial once I got into my engineering classes at U of A! That software went from "hey this is neat "to being a useful tool to delineate the watershed I was studying or to sketch the breakdown of the process we were being tested on.


I love to travel and hike - my husband (Jake) and I hiked Angels Landing in Zion National Park this spring.

Q: Anything you learned in EAST that you

Q: What would you like to see happen with

still apply today?

EAST in the future?

A: The beauty of my experience with EAST is that while I

A: I would love to see EAST continue its work in students'

was learning some of the most valuable lessons of my career, I didn’t even realize it. Who knew that troubleshooting HTML scripts to fix minor problems on a school website years ago would make the code for statistical analysis on chemical data results in MATLAB or R easier to understand? Or that communication skills I learned as an ambassador in 2011 would help me land my dream internship and eventually become a consultant with GBMc & Associates. However, even if none of the technical skills I learned in EAST would’ve applied to my chosen career path, every career is looking for people who can make connections and solve problems in innovative ways to make a difference. I firmly believe EAST is 20% of the actual technical skills that you learn and 80% about the way the program teaches you to think.

Q: How do you serve or give back today? A: Time is a precious way to help—things don’t change without the investment of it!

lives. Because of my own background, I have a soft spot for seeing the program work its way into more rural areas and small schools.

Q: What advice would you give to EAST students that are graduating soon?

A: Take that mindset you have now—that giving back, "always learning" kind of mindset that EAST strongly encourages you to develop—and keep it going. If you need help or support to handle something more significant than your abilities, form a team. This world needs as many active thinkers as we can get, and EAST is spitting them out by the dozens!

Q: Quote you live by? A: My favorite movie is Coach Carter, and there is a quote from Marianne Williamson used in the movie. “...Your playing small doesn't serve the world ... as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

Q: If you could partner with an EAST program to complete a project what would it be? A: I think the bigger question is: How can I help? Some of my coworkers had a recent opportunity to work with and educate EAST students in the Maumelle school district on the preservation of the White Oak Bayou, an amazing wetland that is right in their backyard! Any time we can partner in a way that celebrates and cares for the world we live in, it's a good day.




AGE 22

Miss Arkansas 2019

Major/School: Bachelor of Science in Animal Sciences The University of Arkansas Years in EAST: Two Contact info:

I graduated from Greenwood High School in 2015, and I was involved in the East Program there for two years and loved it because it allowed me to use my natural curiosity to help my community.

Q: First memory of EAST? A: I was the mascot in high school, and I had no idea how to

Q: Anything you learned in EAST that you

cut or make my music. So the first thing I was set on in EAST was learning how to use GarageBand to make my music.

A: I learned to not be afraid of science that I don’t have

Q: Why did you decide to participate in EAST?

A: I took EAST on advice from a friend. EAST was new at school when I joined. My best friend took EAST the year before me and told me I should take it with her, and we could have another class together.

Q: Memorable project in EAST you’d like to share?

A: I helped two elementary school teachers with a community project that was a motivational music video. I had to use the skills I developed with Garageband and many other tech skills to get the different video clips cut and pieced together and then figure out how to get the music removed from the lyrics and put it on top of the video and then have the alternative lyrics laid over.

Q: What technology did you use in EAST then, and how has it changed today?

A: A lot of the technology I used was on a Mac Desktop. I am now an HP user, so I cannot say exactly how the technology has advanced but I know that everything has become more advanced since 2014.

still apply today?

prior experience with. I was nervous about using technology before I joined EAST, but now I look at new technology as a complex puzzle that I can’t wait to learn how to solve.

Q: How do you serve or give back today? A: The job of Miss Arkansas allows me to focus on giv-

RANDOM FACT ABOUT YOU: I am a cat person.

ing back to my state by being the goodwill ambassador for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals in Arkansas and promote my platform of Addiction Awareness.

Q: What would you like to see happen with EAST in the future?

A: Continue to foster an atmosphere of learning with students in all communities.

Q: What advice would you give to EAST students that are graduating soon?


The skills you learn in EAST will help you in college and in any job field you choose. The world is shifting to a technology-based future, and EAST has set you up to be ahead of the curve when it comes to using those skills.

Q: Quote you live by? A: “I have no special talents, I am only passionately


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Q: If you could partner with an EAST program to complete a project what would it be? A: The great part about EAST is that the students get to choose the projects. I would love to work with an EAST program on any project that embodies what EAST is about, helping the community around you. And if that project touches on my passion for addiction awareness or Arkansas Children’s Hospital then that’s even better. SUMMER 2019 | EAST QUARTERLY





r o b o t i c

Hot glue gun?


n this installment of Geek Speak, we hear from Drew Wallis, the Director of Education at NWA3D. He enjoys teaching and empowering students with the skills to properly use what he calls a “crazy robotic hot glue gun.” Grab something to take notes with as Wallis sheds a little light and insight on what other people simply know as 3D printers. Some readers may be familiar with the more common name, 3D printers, but I prefer the wilder term crazy robotic hot glue gun. I call them crazy because they enthusiastically make anything you can design—or they sometimes fail at printing in the most epic manner. I call them robots because they are a programmable machine that completes a task. And finally, I call 3D printers hot glue guns because they melt solid material into a liquid with a hot nozzle, and that liquid resolidifies into a solid shape of your choice, similar to how a hot glue gun works! Now for some tech talk: There are many different types of 3D printers, and those printers comprise the industry known as additive manufacturing. This digital manufacturing process takes a digital file created on a computer and manufactures that part on a machine. In additive manufacturing, the digital file is created in the real world by stacking thin layers of a certain material over and over into the shape of the digital file. The most common type of 3D printers, and the ones we sell at NWA 3D, use material extrusion. This is the process of melting down a material, called filament, and extruding it out of a nozzle. Filament is the variation of thermoplastic material requiring different temperatures to melt and mold into the designs. Once the material has been melted, the extruding process begins. Extruding is the act of dispensing the material onto the build plate through a small nozzle commonly referred to as a "hot end.” The build plate is the surface where the printer deposits the materials to form the new part. 10


Additive manufacturing is used today to make all kinds of products and machines. From airplane parts to knee replacements to movie props, 3D printing is one more tool in the toolbox for a company to use to create something unique. What we love the most are things that can only be created using the process of additive manufacturing—like a customized prosthetic limb for an individual. Many EAST programs have benefitted from how amazing a tool 3D printing can be. A reliable 3D printer empowers students to think creatively and learn how to solve problems; ironically so does an unreliable one. The student-driven nature of EAST makes it a fantastic place to learn the skills needed to work on 3D printing projects that make a difference in the world. That’s why we love and support EAST!

We’ve seen so many incredible projects that wouldn’t be possible without a 3D printer over the past several years that we’ve been involved with EAST. There are too many to name them all, but some of our favorites include (in no particular order): • LED Track Lighting Bracket, Sonora Elementary School • J-Hook Solution, Mountain Home Junior High School • 3D-Printed Doll Crutch, Buffalo Island High School • Cane Hill Museum 3D-Artifacts, Lincoln Middle School • Translated School Signs for Understanding, Helen Tyson Middle School • Sarah’s New Style Orthotic Insert, Armorel High School • A 3D-Printed Leg to Stand on, Sonora Middle School • Bike Buddy, Don Tyson School of Innovation • Trot-Line Swivel, McCrory High School • ASE for Cystic Fibrosis, Harrison Junior High School • 3D-Printed Yearbook for AR School for the Blind, Roberts Elementary School All of the amazing medical, assistive, and prosthetic projects created by EAST students for people (and animals!) have made such a huge impact on their lives. One thing that seems to be forgotten in all the hype is how difficult it can be to 3D print at times. That’s another reason that these projects are so incredible. A 3D printer doesn’t work by just plugging it in and pressing a button. It requires students to create a workflow that assists others with learning to run the machine. The two most important things to learn are how to calibrate, or tram, a 3D printer and the process of design iteration. Tramming is the most difficult part of 3D printing because it is the process of making a machine square with itself, or verifying that the X, Y, and Z axes all travel at 90 degrees when functioning. This is done on a material extrusion 3D printer by adjusting the build plate to be the same small, consistent distance from the nozzle everywhere on it. Design iteration is the process of creating a design to solve a problem, testing the design, making appropriate changes, and testing the changes. This process is done repeatedly until the design solves the problem. Though this process is time-consuming, you learn how to solve problems by designing creatively, thinking critically, and troubleshooting both digital and mechanical problems, design problems, and the challenge of creating exactly what you wanted and realizing it is not solving the problem after all. Solving complicated problems is what scientists, programmers, engineers, professionals, and people in business and government do every day! Drew Wallis We're really excited to know that we've played a part in the explosion of 3D printing in EAST programs. It’s astonishing to see what students can do with 3D printers, the knowledge to use them, and the dedicated time in EAST to design and print. The skills students learn while 3D printing will follow them the rest of their lives, no matter what field they pursue. That is why we, NWA3D, do what we do! If you have any questions about 3D printing, contact us for help. It’s our mission to empower students with the tools and skills they need to 3D print. SUMMER 2019 | EAST QUARTERLY




SOCIAL COMMITTEE We asked a few members of our staff:

“What is your favorite memory about getting ready for back-to-school?” Toni Cook

Purchasing and Inventory Manager

Whitney Croy Office Coordinator

Back-to-School Shopping. I have always loved to shop. Both of my parents are old school, so the only time we received new clothes was when we were going back-to-school and Christmas. I lived for back-to-school shopping. I prepped weeks in advance for what I wanted to buy from which stores. I also started practicing my arguments of why I needed a particular item so when my mother told me no, I had a well thought out rebuttal prepared.

The only thing I liked about preparing for school to start was the shopping we would get to do. I liked picking out new clothes, and one year I remember getting some Backstreet Boys folders that I couldn’t live without at the time. Other than that I was never thrilled for summer to be ending.

Larry Dicus

Pam Futch

Technical Services Representative

Senior Director of Accounting

It’s always about that last trip or adventure before you go back for me. My new favorite memory was actually this summer. I went to a three-day music festival in Manchester, Tennessee and got to see a handful of artists like Childish Gambino, Post Malone, Lil Dicky, and Cardi B.

Back-to-School shopping was an exciting time; a refreshed and new wardrobe was like flowers in the spring after wintertime. As an adult and post-accounting degree, I now dislike shopping altogether. Why can’t the pair of shoes I have invested in and grown to love just last forever?

Apryl Jackson

Lani Jennings-Hall

Communications Coordinator

Marketing and Events Coordinator

Back-to-school was exciting not only because I got to get new clothes and school supplies, but I loved getting a new backpack with a matching lunchbox. My favorite was Polly Pocket! I knew that if I performed well in school I’d get to buy a new Polly Pocket with each progress report! I also liked knowing that dance and gymnastics were starting soon and you better believe Polly came to dance with me in my pocket!

Every year before school my mom would take me and my younger sister clothes and school supply shopping. I am from a small town about an hour and half from Little Rock - so to us, this was a BIG DEAL!

Melanie Ridlon

Sara Swisher

Senior Director of Operations

Back-to-school was exciting because you got new things! My mom would take my sisters and me school clothes shopping at Penney's. Later in life, I learned that it would take the entire year for my parents to pay off one day of shopping!



Project Coordinator

In 2nd grade, I packed my backpack with all the supplies I needed for school the night before. It had all of my books, folders, binders, and lollipops that my teacher requested. On the morning of my first day of school, my backpack was ripped open, my folders had teeth marks in them, and the lollipops were eaten. It turns out my overweight dachshund smelled the lollipops in my backpack and ate my homework!


to all of our sponsors and supporters who help make EAST happen for students.


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McGuire Family Fund



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6215 Ranch Drive Little Rock, Arkansas 72223

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Summer 2019 EAST Quarterly