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Winter 2017

ISSUE

QUARTERLY

16

EAST ALUMNI

COMMERCIALS,

SUCCESS

> WINTER

PAGE 10

HIGHLIGHTS

EAST PROJECT PROFILES

DON TYSON SCHOOL OF INNOVATION & D. ROBERTS ELEMENTARY

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CONFERENCE JUDGING

SUMMER SEMINAR PAGE

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AWARDS GALA

7 p.m. Wednesday, March 15 Bank of the Ozarks Arena • Hot Springs Convention Center Open to guests and the general public Tickets: $15, available on site

LE L E V EE NLC E U2C0O1PN7FVE R EE NLC E 2U0 1P7 CONFER

AWARDS AWARDS

AAL A GALG .7 P.M. 7 P.M

As the highlight event of EAST Conference, the Gala will see thousands of students, educators and guests gathered to celebrate the very best of EAST, from 3D printing and design to Arduino programming to the selection of the 2017 Timothy R. Stephens Founder’s Award. Don’t miss this special night for the entire EAST community!


WINTER 2017

TABLE OF CONTENTS 2

EDITOR’S LETTER

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EAST PROGRAMS

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DEVELOPMENT

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SUMMER SEMINAR

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By Spencer Watson

Find out about upcoming grant opportunities available to EAST schools.

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PROJECT PROFILE

A Springdale student has ideas about how to get eyes inside the storm drains.

F E AT U R E STO R Y

A group of elementary students is creating a tactile senior yearbook for the visually impaired.

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SOUND THINKING

The impresarios at EAST Conference offer insight into the hard work of production.

ALUMNI

A former student relates how EAST equipped her for her current role in city government.

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Judges share thoughts on what they’re looking for from students at EAST Conference.

PROJECT PROFILE

EAST needs your help to support its programs and expand opportunities for students.

Ready to return to Little Rock? Here are the dates and venue info.

CONFERENCE JUDGING

WINTER EVENTS

Highlights from Vision Building, staff fire safety training, Conference Clips filming and more!

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GEEK SPEAK

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CALENDAR

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GEAR STORE

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PARTNERS & SPONSORS

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EAST STAFF

Here’s a how-to guide on getting a video from your 360 camera to the Oculus.

Upcoming events for March, April and May.

Buy new gear we have in stock so that you can look awesome.

Thank you to all who sponsor and partner with EAST!

Here’s a little insight into what the staff of EAST is really like.

WINTER 2017 | EAST QUARTERLY

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EDITOR’S LETTER

EQ WE’LL SEE. As a kid, this was the evasive answer I always got from my parents when the real answer was “no.” To wit: “Mom, can we order pizza tonight?” “We’ll see.”

I share this bit of nostalgia to bring up the importance of vision, something many of us take for granted and something that plays a central part in this edition’s featured projects. Coincidentally, they both involve 3D printing, a technology of myriad applications, making the decision of what to feature harder — especially when there are so many amazing projects using a vast array of technology out there in EAST. We’ll cover more of them, too, in time. At Don Roberts Elementary School in Little Rock students are reaching out to the Arkansas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ASB), offering a 3D-printed yearbook and giving each student their own 3D-printed portrait to take home. As one of the project’s young participants poignantly points out, most of us take for granted that we see ourselves in the bathroom mirror each morning. Through these printed digital scans, ASB students can have that daily experience of “seeing” themselves through touch. They can also “see” their classmates in the same way. At Don Tyson School of Innovation in Springdale a student has offered vision of another kind. His project is to create a 3D-printed device that will convey a camera down into the city storm drains to study the debris and contaminants collected there, which ultimately flow out and pollute local lakes where people swim and fish. His project puts eyes where they simply cannot go, because there’s really no substitute for visualizing such a problem. These are projects of profound vision, expressions of empathy and innovation that demonstrate what can happen when young people are given highly technical tools and challenged to make the world they see around them a better place to be. They — and other students in EAST — are doing just that every single day. It’s enough to make one wonder if there’s any limit to this kind of creativity. To echo my parents’ assessment, we’ll see.

QUARTERLY

6215 Ranch Dr. Little Rock, AR 72223 501.371.5016 www.eastinitiative.org MAGAZINE TEAM Editor - Spencer Watson Designer - Dave Lewis CONTRIBUTORS Adam Crider PHOTOGRAPHY Spencer Watson Dave Lewis COVER PHOTO Elizabeth Dryer PRINTING/PUBLISHING Printed by Allegra Print & Imaging of Arkansas, Inc. Published digitally through Issuu at: issuu.com/eastquarterly 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.

Spencer Watson

Editor EAST Quarterly

Questions or feedback?

communications@EASTstaff.org

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PROGRAMS

EAST facilitators, grant opportunities will be available soon! EAST Upgrade grants allow established programs to apply for assistance in purchasing new technology for the EAST classroom. EAST Beyond the Bell grants provide funding for student projects that extend outside of normal classroom hours, whether after school or during the summer.

Continue to check www.eastinitiative.org, where full details, including eligibility requirements, applications and deadlines, will be announced in April. WINTER 2017 | EAST QUARTERLY

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DEVELOPMENT

EAST NEEDS YOU! The mission of the EAST Initiative is to provide all learners with unique, relevant, life-changing educational experiences. To fulfill that mission, we need your help. Individuals and organizations can make contributions large or small, which help improve EAST’s programs. For example, donations last year provided enough funds to allow students in the Little Rock Metro area to spend time after school creating a virtual reality map of their campus for emergency responders. This potentially life-saving project would not have existed without the support of contributors like you. Please consider making a gift to the EAST Initiative today. Your support means more opportunity for more students in more places.

Visit www.supporteast.org to make your tax-deductible donation.

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SUMMER SEMINAR

LITTLE ROCK,AR It’s hard to think too much about fun in the sun when there’s still a chance we might see snow on the ground, but the temperatures will be pushing triple digits before you know it! Meanwhile, EAST facilitators will be staying cool (or should we say getting cooler?) at EAST’s Tech Camp and Summer Seminar, which are returning to the capital city for 2017. It’s professional development, specifically designed for EAST facilitators!

TECH CAMP

July 25

Location: Little Rock Advance Registration: $50

SUMMER SEMINAR

July 26-28

Holiday Inn Conference Center in Little Rock Advance Registration: $200 Reserve your hotel room today at the Holiday Inn Conference Center by calling 501-490-1000. Email events@eaststaff.org for questions about the event. WINTER 2017 | EAST QUARTERLY

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WHAT’S I THE W F

or Caden Carreno, an eighth grade student at the Don Tyson School of Innovation in Springdale, what’s out of sight is not necessarily out of mind. He’s intent on figuring out just what kinds of contaminants can be found in the city’s stormwater runoff system as it slowly works its way through subterranean channels back out into local streams and lakes. From cigarette butts to fertilizer chemicals, there are plenty of potential contaminants that can get caught up in water as it flows into storm drains. And, once there, it’s 6

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very hard to test or keep an eye on it, he said. “The idea was to build a device that would allow us to test the water and give water quality experts a better idea of how to fix some of the problems that are going on.”

Caden’s solution was to combine a 360-degree camera with a 3D flotation device he designed from scratch to go inside the stormwater system. The University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service on water quality and the Arkansas Tobacco-Free Coalition are interested partners.

Those problems are particularly dangerous because, unlike sewage, storm water goes back into local freshwater, like nearby Beaver Lake. People swim and fish there. Potential contaminants can make those activities unsafe for people and can also harm plants and wildlife.

“The 360 camera has a very wide lens on the top, and we designed the 3D-printed case to be used for floating. It doesn’t intrude on the lenses, and the way the stitching software works, you can actually crop out the device, itself” Caden said. “Our main goal was to get as


PROJECT PROFILE

IN WATER? much information as possible while protecting the camera so that it can be used multiple times.” After starting in SketchUp, the current flotation device was designed in TinkerCAD, but Caden said he’s also learning modeling software Blender and other CAD softwares to find the right fit for the project. He’s been working with partner NWA3D to perfect the printing technique. “NWA3D is helping with 3D printing advice, and they’re walking us through getting the best watertight field for all of our components to optimize our 3D print,” he said. Caden’s future plans include the ability to add water quality testing equipment to his project, either some kind of sample collector or analysis device. Beyond that, he said, he hopes to see it motorized one day. In fact, that’s actually where the idea started.

SPRINGDALE EAST STUDENT DESIGNS DEVICE TO SEND CAMERAS INTO STORM DRAINS By Spencer Watson

“The cameras are pricey, so I was worried about just throwing it into the storm drain and trusting that we would know where it ended up,” he said. “But after looking over the maps that we received from the University of Arkansas, I feel more comfortable.”

more research, a little more testing and a little more knowledge about the topic. So I definitely underestimated it, and I was going way overboard originally.”

All in all, he said, he’s grateful to have the chance to explore a latent interest in technology and electronics and looks forward to taking the project into next year.

Caden said that learning process has helped him.

“It is really cool that EAST provides an opportunity for kids to use technology to do the kinds of things they’re interested in and serve not just the school, but the entire community.“n

“I’m pretty bad at keeping things organized. Like I said, at the very beginning of the project I was all over the place,” he said. “But I think this project has helped improve my organizational skills by developing a project in a way that will help me be more successful.” Oddly, though, success means literally tossing his project down the drain. He’s done testing, having used a tennis ball to adjust balance, and now feels more confident in the device itself. But it’s still a little nerve wracking.

“When I first got the idea, I immediately went to a notepad, and I was sketching down all kinds of ideas using an Arduino and motors,” he said, envisioning a controlled, underwater drone. “But after a week or two of brainstorming, it kind of came to me: all that stuff may not be possible just yet. It may require a little WINTER 2017 | EAST QUARTERLY

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PROJECT PROFILE

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hat began as an idea to share poetry with the visually impaired has turned into a sort of poetry in motion as a group of students from EAST at Don Roberts Elementary School in Little Rock have undertaken a project to provide a 3D-printed senior yearbook at the Arkansas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ASB).

Taking

Shape

“Our project was going to be doing 3D-printed Braille poems for people that are blind,” said Ruby Davis, who began the project with partner Anish Patwardhan. “But then we went onto Google and found a blind school in Korea that made a 3D yearbook, and we thought, we have to do that. So that’s how we came up with this idea.” By having access to 3D-printed models, visually impaired students can feel and study the facial features of their classmates — “seeing” them through touch — and get to know them better even when they’re not around. “We thought it was the perfect idea because we have 3D printers in our EAST class, and we have the Arkansas School for the Blind here in Little Rock,” said Ruby. With guidance from facilitator Carman McBride, Ruby and Anish reached out to staff at ASB, who came to Roberts to visit and hear a presentation on the project and were immediately on board — and for more than the yearbook. “They were so excited, they want us to come out to see their 3D printers to see if we can use them or they can use ours, and they want us to teach them how to use the 3D printers,” said Anish. The students are working on how best to do that, likely leading a workshop. The difficulty, they said, was in figur8

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ing out how to turn ASB seniors into 3D-printed statues. They began the process by figuring out how to scan and print themselves. “We started off doing photogrammetry, but we ran into some problems,” said Sadie Schimmel, who, along with Kevin Durden, Emma Null and Reagan Farris, joined the yearbook project team. “Photogrammetry is taking pictures all the way around the head, but that really was not very friendly to us. It never worked, and in the best print we got, the back of Ruby’s head was cut off!” said Kevin. But with those struggles came more help. “I thought it was a really cool project, and I heard that they needed more help,” said Reagan on joining the team.

“I’m one of the printer people. I do 3D printing, and it’s really fun,” added Emma on how she got involved. The group tried a variety of different capture options — 123D Catch, Trnio, AG/ Grisoft — before finding a solution while seeking technical guidance from EAST Initiative staff. They settled on using a scanner and software package called Sense combined with Cura for slicing. “With photogrammetry we had to use three different softwares, but with Sense you can solidify [or make an object solid for printing] and shape it up the way you want using only one software,” said Sadie. Sense took a lot of the frustration out of the process, making it both easier and more fun. “Scanning is one of my favorite parts,”


Project will provide visually impaired students with 3D-printed yearbook By Spencer Watson

said Ruby. “You’re filling in this space, like coloring in a coloring book, and it’s really fun. If you’re going too fast, it says slow down, or if the person is moving, you can go back to where you were without starting over.” Patience, however, is key. The whole group said sitting completely still for the scanning process was a difficulty they didn’t expect. The plan, though, will be to scan each of the four seniors in this year’s graduating class at ASB. The Roberts group will 3D print two copies of each student. One copy will go into a display at the school with each student’s name printed in braille; the other will go to the student, their own senior portrait. Together, the Roberts students said they hope the project will bring ASB students closer together.

“We decided to make a 3D print of them so they can feel each other easier and know their best friends even better,” said Anish. Now that they’ve got the process down, the timeline for the project, naturally, is getting all the scanning and printing done before the end of this school year. The ASB class is only four students, but scanning and printing take time. It’s stressful, said the students, but it will be worth it. “I think the seniors are going to be so happy,” said Ruby. “And for me, I’m going to feel super relieved. You know that feeling you get when you’re done with everything, like, when you’ve finished your homework or something? I bet I’ll have that feeling. “But I’ll be happy to see their faces.” n WINTER 2017 | EAST QUARTERLY

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REAPING WHAT YOU SOW EAST student leaves impression, lands in municipal government BY SPENCER WATSON

Rachel Carmack graduated from Nettleton High School in 2011 after four years in EAST. She attended Arkansas State University and graduated with a degree in communication studies. She currently works for the City of Jonesboro.

Tell me about your experiences in EAST. What are your fondest memories? Favorite projects? Did you make friends there you still keep up with? What comes to mind when asked to think back on your time in the program? My fondest EAST memories are of my facilitator Sandra Taylor. She was an outstanding role model for all of us, but, looking back, I can see that she took a special interest in me. Having her to look up to as a woman in a STEM field really changed my outlook. I also treasure the communication skills I learned. We were encouraged to step out of our comfort zones and talk to professionals. These interactions taught me to respect my elders, but also to have the courage to approach them with confidence. In my later years in the class, I really enjoyed mentoring younger kids. We gained a junior high program, and that gave me another opportunity to teach newcomers. I cherish the friendships I made with students in the grades below me, and I frequently attended class during their hour so I could teach them new things and help with their project development. A favorite moment of mine was speaking [in front of thousands of people at the EAST] Conference when we won the Award of Excellence my senior year. Such a rush! Moments like these gave me such confidence speaking in front of crowds of my peers or even of my elders. What drew you to EAST? Did you know much about it going in? And how did it compare with those expectations? My older brother was in EAST before me, and I was immediately fascinated. I heard him talk daily about the cool things he was working on, and it felt like an eternity to wait two years before I could start in ninth grade. I knew going in that it would be a self-driven class, and I think that’s what drew me the most. Of course, as a high school freshman, I also liked that the only assignments and homework were those that we gave ourselves. What kinds of technology did you engage with in EAST and how did you apply those to solving community problems? My EAST co-pilot Elizabeth and I really got involved with video production and graphic design. I can remember SEVERAL times when community members would come to us asking for a promotional video or some kind of brand development. It is humbling to know that these companies and organizations trusted amateur high school students with the marketing of their business or event. These were always fun projects to work on because the consequences of our work were huge – we could see our designs printed all over town, or we could see our videos online or on TV!

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EAST ALUMNI One of the coolest (and most serendipitous) projects I worked on was creating PSAs for our city’s local access channel. We worked for weeks on commercials about recycling, shopping locally and “Stamp Out Smoking” until we sent them off to City Hall in hopes that they would air. One day during class, Mrs. Taylor said “Rachel, look!” as she pointed to the TV in the classroom. There it was; my commercial was playing on Channel 24! It was a magical moment. I felt SO official. So published. Little did I know, a few short years later, I would be working at City Hall creating content for Channel 24 almost daily! Life came full circle, and I attribute it to EAST! What influence, if any, did EAST have on your course of study in college? Did it impact your choice of major, and if so how? EAST taught me to love community service and volunteer work and encouraged me to pursue a career in the nonprofit sector. I learned early on that I was not motivated by sales, numbers or bonuses. I found my passion in serving others and giving back to my community through the skills I learned while in EAST. How did you end up working in city government? For the first 15(ish) years of my life, I wanted to be a Forensic Pathologist – full on Bones/ CSI/NCIS. However, four years in EAST taught me to trade one STEM field for another. I enrolled in the College of Media and Communications at ASU, got my degree in communications and now work for the municipal government in Jonesboro overseeing the marketing and branding of the city.

What’s it like to work in City Hall anyway? I imagine it’s not exactly House of Cards, but it’s not exactly Parks and Rec, either. What’s the day-to-day like for you? Ha! It’s definitely a happy medium. My office is on the fourth (top) floor right next to the mayor’s, so it can get tense sometimes, but in general it is lighthearted and fun! Certain seasons are busier than others, so our work and productivity reflects that. The Communications Department consists of three people; the communications director (my boss) and I share an office with another digital media specialist. Our office tends to get “weird” as we try to spark creativity and come up with fun ways to promote our city. Our boss walks in during brainstorm sessions sometimes and wonders why I am standing in the windowsill and my coworker is playing wall-ball or why we have the Hamilton Musical Mixtape playing on LOUD. We get some funny looks sometimes. I understand you once told Matt Dozier you planned to take over his job one day. Is that still in the cards? Even if not, what prompted that aspiration? I did tell him that! And I still stand by it! I have done quite a bit of research on the APPEL program and alternate licensure procedures and have not ruled out the possibility of becoming a facilitator or working at EAST HQ in Little Rock. I could be Melanie [Ridlon] or Jerry [Prince] first, then move up to Matt. I am so grateful to have known and learned from all of the staff at EAST HQ, and it would be an honor to work with them in any capacity! I am amazed at what EAST has become, and it is in part because of great leadership – how cool would it be to be a part of that influential crew?!

I’ve realized my passion for nonprofit work in the public sector. Municipal government is a good fit for me because we are so community-based and results-driven. In a roundabout way, I credit EAST for affording me my current position. My senior year, we did several projects for and with the mayor. I was even appointed as a youth member of a City Commission called the “Jonesboro 2030 Plan.”

Lastly, having been a part of EAST and now working in a professional world, what advice would you give to today’s students to help them apply the lessons of EAST to their future college and professional plans? Or, put another way, if you could go back in time and give your student self a bit of advice, what would you say?

These opportunities allowed me to dabble in municipal government and meet some very influential people. I suppose I made an impression on the mayor because he called me out of the blue five years later and asked if I wanted to come in for an interview. I don’t even know where he got my number! I came in the next day and got a job that I didn’t even apply for. He remembered my hustle while I was in the program and knew that he wanted me working for him.

VOLUNTEER! Give up a Saturday and clean up a cemetery, go to city council meetings regularly and learn what is happening in your community. Befriend students from other schools, introduce yourself to difference-makers early and often. I can’t stress how important it is to give your time to others. They WILL remember you, and they will return the favor. It might be five or 50 years later, but you will reap what you sow. Making connections through my time in EAST has proven to be the biggest asset I have in growing my career and serving my community. n WINTER 2017 | EAST QUARTERLY

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FEATURE STORY

SOUND

THINKING The pros behind Conference productions offer an inside look at audio engineering BY SPENCER WATSON

A

nyone who has ever surveyed all the dials, sliders, scopes and other enigmatic mechanisms on a sound or video board might wonder how anyone could possibly ever decipher, much less master, such a complicated contraption. Even for a technology savvy person, it can be intimidating. EAST offers good practice, experts in the field said. Not just for the knowhow but the hands-on philosophy, too. “The best way for someone to learn is to just get in there and do it,” said Shawn Browning, a production manager for Maumelle-based Sound Logic, a full service production company whose 12

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work includes audio, video, staging, lighting and anything else that needs doing to make concerts, festivals, corporate events and even weddings turn into full-scale productions. Sound Logic last year took over the production work on general sessions at the EAST Conference — opening plenary, the awards gala and the closing session — and do so again this year. “Everybody here has a passion for this industry, and we’ve been given an opportunity to take that passion and actually make a life of it, so we can actually afford to do what it is we do,” said Sound Logic owner Kym Evans.

For his part, Evans was always into music — band, choir, music theory and everything else. He checked out books on multimedia and mixing and was a regular at the music store. Browning, likewise, was an enthusiast, but he also went to school for audio engineering. His assessment? Doing is learning. “I saw a lot of people that came into school fresh, had no idea about anything. And by the time it ended, they still didn’t know,” he said. “They couldn’t apply what they were being taught. Being in the classroom, being shown how to do something, then trying to go apply it, that’s very different. If you knew how to do it and then were learning in the classroom, it was so much easier.”


Don’t confuse “easier” with “easy,” though. Building a production is something of a symphony and takes a lot of effort to get all the sections working in concert. “What does it take to actually design a show? It starts with sitting down with your clients and getting information, trying to read into what they’re seeing and envisioning for their event and then trying to put something on paper,” said Evans, who explained that mapping out staging in CAD software is one of the first steps. Then it gets technical. How big is the stage? Because that affects lighting. How big is the audience? Because that affects sound. And both of those need rigging, which means figuring out how many trusses there are and how much weight they’re holding. Is there a video component? How will it be displayed? “You work on each aspect of that idea and break it up into subcategories. And then once you get all of that information together, it goes back over to technical to figure out what kind of power requirements it’s going to draw, things like that,” Evans said. It that sounds fun, well, it is. But a lot of people show up looking for a job with the idea that it will be “fun,” with little understanding of the real work that goes into it, said Evans. “For this field, it starts with passion. You have to have passion for the trade. If you don’t have passion, you won’t have key things like reliability,” he said. Reliability matters because it’s not a typical 9-to-5 job. “This is a field where you may work three weeks straight and with very little sleep for a one-week period during that time,” he said. “Even with a threeday show, the week immediately before is planning, packing, pre-wiring, doing all this stuff to make sure the show happens.”

It’s also physically taxing with lots of lifting and hauling, Browning added. Then there’s nothing quite like showing up for an event and finding out the firmware of the lighting console has been updated and you no longer know how to work it. You’ve got to be able to think fast, Evans said. “It takes someone who’s looking forward, always looking for change and is adaptable to change.” Beyond that, Evans and Browning advised anyone interested in the field to have a good grounding in production concepts. “Learn the basics,” said Browning. “Learn what a DMX is and how to address it. Learn about profiles. Know how many DMX channels a fixture takes. You can apply that across all the different consoles. You should know what scenes are.” The good news for people who do know their stuff is that there’s work out there. “My dad used to say it’s hard to find a good diesel mechanic. Well, it’s a lot

harder to find a good audio engineer, I can tell you that,” said Evans. Part of the difficulty, from a hiring standpoint, is that it’s a field where people tend to find a home and stay there. “You have to find somebody at the beginning of their journey, snag ‘em up, teach ‘em the ropes and try to keep them,” said Evans. Study up, watch YouTube (“it has some amazing videos” on sound design, Evans said), but don’t forget to go do, the professionals said. Work with a production company (especially a fullservice company, even though there aren’t many) just loading and toting gear, but ask to observe the technical stuff, too. Volunteer to run sound at church, but don’t forget to try to find other venues, because it takes all types of experience, Evans said. “If you take a church sound guy and you put him out on the road doing a tour, it doesn’t work. And if you take a tour person and you try to put them in the church, that doesn’t work either. So it’s trying to find that right person who can really work with everything and everybody. That’s really the tough part.” Being on top of tech makes getting hired a lot easier, though. Evans noted that for 50 years, not much changed in the audio and lighting production world. Then came the computer revolution. “Evolution is happening throughout the industry, and computers have changed everything,” he said, describing networked systems that not only allow for real-time monitoring, but more efficient control of lights and sound. Being comfortable in that environment is a big plus, he said, because, like EAST, it’s a tech-driven world that rarely slows down. n Editor’s note: To see Sound Logic in action, visit the EAST Conference awards gala 7 p.m. March 15, at the Hot Springs Convention Center. Tickets are available on site for $15. The event will also stream live on the EAST Initiative YouTube channel. WINTER 2017 | EAST QUARTERLY

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CONFERENCE

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ith Conference so close, we thought students might be interested to know what judges are looking for. We spoke with three long-time Conference judges —community volunteer Chris Foster, EAST facilitator Brittany Berry and high school principal David Campbell —about what they’re looking for during judging and why they volunteer a day of their year to help judge students’ presentations. Talking to judges can naturally be a nerve-wracking experience. What advice would you give to students who are presenting to judges at Conference? Foster: As cliché as it sounds, just be themselves and enjoy the experience. I’m sure the process can be a little intimidating and nerves are to be expected, but if a student looks me in the eye and you can see their enthusiasm about the subject, it absolutely goes a long way. Berry: I think the biggest piece of advice is to know that the judges are genuinely excited to be visiting with students to learn about their EAST program and all their hard work. Focus on sharing your passion for your project and EAST. 14

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It isn’t so important to have a perfectly memorized presentation as it is to be personable and interactive. Campbell: I would also tell students to be themselves. Students who are selected to be part of an EAST Conference team know their “stuff.” Relax and have a conversation with the judges. I would advise against a canned message. With that said, students should prepare and have their facts ready and be ready to answer questions. Professionalism, content, body language — all these things are important parts of a presentation. But do you weigh one more heavily than others? What aspect of a presentation makes the biggest impression on you as a judge? What are you looking for? Foster: It is a combination of all three factors mentioned above but I would definitely say body language does make a huge impact. I can automatically tell when a student believes in their project. Some of the best presentations that I have seen all have this in common. You can tell that they have “bought into” the EAST program and are seeing positive results in their community and school.

Berry: Content, of course, is important. The judges are there to hear about the great work your program is doing. However, the judges do want to see engaging and professional body language. It is important for you to be genuine and show enthusiasm. For me, the best impressions come when you walk away from a booth impressed by how much the kids simply love EAST and used their projects to prove it. It is those presentations that really stick with you. Campbell: I agree, all three are valuable. If I had to select one, I would say content is the most valuable. A great project speaks for itself. If the research is there and if the project relates to the goal, the judges will see the connection. Students need to look professional and have proper soft skills, but if the content is weak, it will show. What’s the hardest part about being a judge at Conference? Foster: Giving the constructive feedback and hoping that the schools realize that we are trying to be helpful and giving information that will benefit them in the future. We


see a tremendous amount of quality students and some projects may need a little bit of help to get the maximum results. Berry: The hardest part is the time. It often seems like there just isn’t enough time to visit completely with each group of students. That is why I think it is important to focus on figuring out ways you can make your booth and presentation stand out. Campbell: I think staying on the time schedule. I usually get so captivated by the presentations, that the time flies. It can be difficult to see, hear and ask the needed questions in the short time frame. Why do you personally volunteer to judge? What do you take away from the experience? Foster: Easy question; just to be a part of a program like EAST and see the incredible things that the students are doing. Each year I am blown away by the teams and the projects and ideas that they have come up with and when they start to describe the impact that it has made in their community. The first year that I was a judge, I was

amazed by the number of people that are directly impacted by the students’ ideas, and you can’t help but have a ton of respect for the time and effort that they put in. Berry: I personally love to judge because it is a great way to learn what other programs are doing so that I can bring back more ideas and support for my own students. I also love judging because it is simply a fun way to interact with kids and be inspired by the work they are doing. Campbell: I always come away refreshed and with a renewed confidence in our youth. I usually have a few new topics to research, due to the new ideas and projects I see! We don’t always take criticism well, even when it’s constructive. What advice would you give for students and facilitators as they read judges’ comments? How would you help them incorporate that feedback into improving? Foster: That it is just that—constructive. We have a tremendous amount of respect for the facilitators and students. Any feedback/suggestions that we offer are coming

from a good place and, we are providing this input so they can improve and get the best results for their program. We want to see them succeed and get the most out of the time and effort that they put into their projects. Berry: I think it is important to remember that the judges are there to provide that kind of feedback. It wouldn’t be fair to only provide positive comments and not offer information on how they think the program can improve. Everyone has room to grow! I think it is helpful to have students, during and after conference, rate their own performance before even seeing the judges remarks. I think when we allow ourselves to identify areas for growth it is much easier to hear similar comments from others without feeling defensive. Campbell: I would say that even though we use a rubric and take judging very seriously, the criticism is still just one group’s educated opinion. Take it with a grain of salt, and see if it can help you move forward. Most meaningful feedback can help. It is the facilitator’s role to help lead the student through finding the meaningful part. n WINTER 2017 | EAST QUARTERLY

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WINTER

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EVENTS

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GEEK SPEAK

A

NEW VIEW Easily create a 360-degree video for the Oculus By Adam Crider

I

n the last issue we talked about how you might use 360-degree cameras to document various EAST projects. But how do you make a 360-video specifically for Oculus? It’s easier than you might think.

With the new update of the Oculus app, you can now watch 360-degree videos easily without having to use Unity or Unreal engine. All you need is the latest version of the Oculus software, the Ricoh Theta S, and the Ricoh Theta desktop application. It is suggested that you use the Ricoh Theta smartphone application, too, to help capture the video you want.

To create 360 video you first need to start with the Ricoh Theta S Camera. Make sure the camera is in video

mode. This can be achieved by pushing the camera/video button on the side and looking to make sure that the blue video icon is illuminated on the front of the Theta, not the camera icon. Once it’s in video mode, place the camera in a safe location where you want to capture video. You can use the smartphone app to view a live preview of what the Theta is seeing to make sure you are capturing the intended subjects. Once the camera is properly set up, either use the smartphone app or press the capture button on the front of the camera to start your recording. The power button on the side will turn red to indicate that it is recording. When you finish recording you can preview the video within the smartphone app.

Since the Theta has two cameras, software is needed to create a single 360 video. Ricoh has a desktop application for the Theta to stitch the two videos together and create the 360 video that the Oculus needs. After opening the Ricoh Theta desktop application, you

can plug the Theta into your computer. Once the computer recognizes the Ricoh Theta, you can use the File Open menu inside the Ricoh Theta desktop app to find the video that you captured earlier. Once you import the video into

the Theta app, it will ask where to save the video. You want to save the video into the Videos directory in your documents. The Oculus doesn’t know that this is a 360 video, so to tell the Oculus software it is, you need to name the video with “_360” at the end of it. An example would be: “myvideo_360.MP4.” When the Ricoh Theta application finishes converting the video, you can go ahead and open the Oculus application. Using the Oculus and the remote, navigate through your library of applications until you find the Oculus video app. When the application opens you should see an option at the bottom left that says “My Videos.” Once inside of “My Videos” you should see the video you just created. If you look in the upper right corner of the video preview, there will be a globe icon which indicates that it is a 360-enabled video. n WINTER 2017 | EAST QUARTERLY

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CALENDAR

CALENDAR MARCH 2017

EAST CONFERENCE 2017

14TH-16TH HOT SPRINGS, AR APRIL 2017

STUDENT TRAINING 3rd 4th 6th-7th 10th-11th 12th 18th 20th-21st 27th-28th

Introduction to Arduino Audio Production 101 Make a Movie Advanced Photographic Principles Rapid Prototyping using Web Frameworks Systems Administration Every Game Needs a Plot Advanced Video Camera Workshop

Little Rock, AR Little Rock, AR Little Rock, AR Little Rock, AR Little Rock, AR Fayetteville, AR LIttle Rock, AR LIttle Rock, AR

MAY 2017

STUDENT TRAINING 2nd

Adobe Premiere

Little Rock, AR

For an up-to-date listing of EAST training, visit 20

EAST QUARTERLY | www.EASTinitiative.org

www.EASTinitiative.org.


r a e G

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WINTER 2017 | EAST QUARTERLY

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THANK YOU

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

CAST

Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies

Fay Jones School of Architecture + Design

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EAST STAFF

We asked the staff “We often ask people who apply to work at EAST ‘what’s your superpower?’ Here’s what our staff had to say about their latent amazing abilities.”

Matt Dozier

President / Chief Executive Officer Matt@EASTstaff.org

Mary Forst

Chief Financial Officer MaryF@EASTstaff.org

“I’ve been told over the years that my superpower was passion for EAST. I’m a dyed-in-the-wool, Kool-Aid drinking true believer in what we do, and I firmly believe that EAST students are going to make this world so much better than anyone — ANYONE — even believes possible. And I can’t wait to see it happen.”

“My superpower is the ability to remember numbers. Specifically dates. Most often it is birthdays that stick with me, but I also remember anniversaries and some random dates, too. I know the birthdays of my family, friends, coworkers, friends of friends and the list goes on.”

Tami Baker

Amy Bell

Program Coordinator Tami@EASTstaff.org

Program Coordinator Amy@EASTstaff.org

“I give good hugs. The purpose of a hug is to let someone know how much you appreciate and care about them. Most people appreciate a good hug (especially me). If you’re genuine and comforting in your hugs, people will notice. Don’t be afraid to share the love!”

“I know this sounds boring, but my Mom always says I have more common sense than anyone she knows. And coming from my Mom, that is a big compliment. So I will claim that as my superpower.”

Sam Byrd

Lori Canada

Technical Support Group Member Sam@EASTstaff.org

Program Coordinator Lori@EASTstaff.org

“My superpower is humility and being humble. Honestly, I am absolutely the most humble person I know. Hands down. I’ve never even told people about my accomplishments because I’m so great that everybody already knows how incredible I am. I get told all the time how awesome I am. So humility is my superpower. Oh, and also sarcasm.”

“I am a passionate person that will stand up for what I believe is right. ”

Reuben Canada

Toni Cook

Director of Information Technology Reuben@EASTstaff.org “I believe my superpower is the ability to translate technical subject matter into familiar and relatable concepts.”

Purchasing Coordinator Toni@EASTstaff.org “My superpower is inquisitiveness. I am interested in learning about everything. My current fixations are: Winston Churchill, drones and the foreign exchange market. This is at least what I tell people. My real superpower is flying (like Superman), but you can’t walk around telling people that.”

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Adam Crider Programmer

Adam@EASTstaff.org

Marisa Damm

Lead Technical Support Marisa@EASTstaff.org

“I can plug in a USB port correctly 75 percent of the time on my first try.”

“I would say my superpower is empathy. I’ve gone through a lot in life, and through it all I’ve learned that it’s important to remember that you never know what someone else is going through.”

Aaron David

Jessica Dunham

Technical Support Group Member Aaron@EASTstaff.org

Events Manager

Jessica@EASTstaff.org

“My superpower is akin to the “Midas touch,” but instead of turning things into gold, everything I touch fixes itself. ”

“My superpowers are delegation and the ability to really dig into the details. Oh, and the ability to juggle the opinions, creativity and crazy ideas of 23 incredibly passionate EAST Initiative staff members!”

Doug Gusewelle

Rinda Hall

Technical Resource Specialist Doug@EASTstaff.org

Program Coordinator Rinda@EASTstaff.org

“My superpower would have to be in the realm of 3D. Things like 3D printing, modeling and animation are all incredibly fascinating, and I love learning about these areas. We’ve done everything from making 3D scans of employees to creating projection mapping displays for Conference, and they’ve turned out great.”

“I am an Empathetic Do-er. I tend to recognize needs in others and help develop ways to meet those needs, whether it be a simple hug or a major overhaul of an existing system.”

Phaedra Hawkins

Eric Holt

Student Training Coordinator Phaedra@EASTstaff.org

Internet Services Manager Eric@EASTstaff.org

“My latent amazing ability is inspiring others. I enjoy encouraging others, whether it’s giving a hug, a “hello” with a smile, compliments or sending a message to say “I was thinking of you.” It’s the little things that make a big difference in someone’s life, because you never know what a person is going through.”

“I can talk to machines and make them do what I want them to do.”

James Hopper

Alicia Humbard

Development Coordinator James@EASTstaff.org “I am sure I said something very profound during my interview, probably about my ability to survive time in the federal prison system. After being bitten by a radioactive EAST bug, I have since realized that I have the power to deal with Matt Dozier — sometimes even as a roommate — for days at a time.”

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Program Coordinator

Alicia@EASTstaff.org “To-Do Lists are my superpower! Digital or on paper, they keep me on track and organized. I always know what to tackle for a project or the day. I love that it helps me to help others. Color coding with gel pens is key! ”


Lani Jennings-Hall

Cody Jones

Office/Event Coordinator

Staff Accountant

Lani@EASTstaff.org

Cody@EASTstaff.org

“Two words: crushing it.”

“My superpower is debits but not credits.Hiiiiiiiiyoooooo. Also, accounting jokes.”

Shari Ollison

Jerry Prince

Technical Support Group Member

Senior Director of Program Services

Shari@EASTstaff.org

Jerry@EASTstaff.org

“Multitasking! My son was born with a heart condition. So, on a regular day, I’m giving meds, respiratory treatments, helping with speech and developmental therapy and giving scheduled feeds. He sleeps on a ventilator, so I’m up at night, too. Maybe my superpower is figuring out how to fit in sleep!”

“My superpower often shows itself with queries like “What about...” “Could we...” “Maybe if...” These are the beginning of the ends of thought in my finding unique solutions to peculiar problems.”

Melanie Ridlon

Spencer Watson

Senior Director of Operations

Communications Manager

Melanie@EASTstaff.org

Spencer@EASTstaff.org

“Sometimes it can be hard to identify what your own superpower is, but I have been told that I am really good at seeing the silver lining during challenging situations.”

“I’m a storyteller. People may think that means making up tall tales, but I mean in a more journalistic sense. It takes creativity in writing, sure, but more than anything it takes listening and paying attention to details. It means translating stream-of-consciousness rambling into a coherent narrative.”

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