BY MELANIE BUCK –
Mena High School’s EAST students were recent special guests of the Mena Lions Club. EAST Facilitator Tyra Hobson brought along students Sarai Stockton, CJ Spurling, Mike Medford, and Clint Buck to explain what EAST is and the importance of the class to future students.
EAST is best explained as a way to implement technology to try to solve problems in the community. Students in EAST can do anything from learning how to make a website, to writing code in computer programming, to learning how to produce a slideshow, or how to make blueprints for a home.
Mike Medford spoke first and explained the process he used to build Mena School’s state tournament website. Medford has also learned how to build an Ethernet cable from scratch, among many other things. CJ Spurling has done things such as making professional-style posters for upcoming events to teaching senior citizens at Rich Mountain Nursing and Rehab how to use a tablet or check their email.
Sarai Stockton has specialized in Adobe Premier Training and has pulled together power point presentations, with her most recent being for the Veteran’s Day Luncheon where students also served veterans. Stockton also implemented a photo booth at a recent school dance.
Clint Buck explained the program he works with. It’s called Sketch-Up and it teaches blueprint making and architecture. In addition, to these programs, there are programs designed to teach video editing, graphic design, game-making, and more. “Each student in EAST chooses their program and they learn on their own. I’m just a facilitator that guides them through the process,” said Hobson, who has taught the EAST program for more than 15 years.
Hobson holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction. Hobson led the EAST program at Mena Middle School for 13 years before moving over to Mena High School in the 2014-2015 school year.
The overall theme this year in EAST is ‘community service,’ which led them to want to help with the Veteran’s Day programs as well as teaching senior citizens more about technology.