EAST® (Environmental and Spatial Technology) is an educational model focusing on student-driven service projects accomplished by using teamwork and cutting-edge technology. EAST classrooms are equipped with state-of-the-art workstations, servers, software and accessories, including GPS/GIS mapping tools, architectural and CAD design software, 3D animation suites, virtual reality development and more. Students identify problems in their local communities and then use these tools to develop solutions, collaborating with civic and other groups in the process.
The focus, however, is not on the technology itself, but on the unique learning environment of the EAST classroom, where students are responsible for creating their own project-based learning experience. There are no lectures and no tests. Instead, the students are guided by an EAST facilitator (a teacher trained in the EAST process). This radically different approach to learning yields tremendous results. Students are better-prepared for both college and the business world, and they care more about learning and serving their communities.
The EAST® method has been named a model by the United States Departments of Education and Labor and has proven, research-based results.
The non-profit EAST® Initiative works with schools and institutions across the country to establish and implement local EAST programs, equipping classrooms, training facilitators and providing technical training for students. Participating schools must sign a set of assurances, promising to follow the prescribed EAST® methods, and participate in periodic required facilitator and student training sessions.