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I in a team on advanced software and equipment to solve community problems in a project-based, self-directed learning environment.

General Course Description:

Environmental and Spatial Technology (EAST) is a two semester course in which students will use state-of-the-art technology and engage in a project-based approach to problem solving.  Students will work independently and in teams in a self-directed learning environment to solve “real world” problems.  Technology skills utilized will include one or more of the following: office automation, computer aided design, 3D modeling and engineering design, surveying and mapping (global positioning systems and geographic information systems), architectural design,  programming, database applications, web page, photo/video editing, and virtual/augmented reality.

General Course Objective:

The course aims to promote intellectual development of students in fostering critical thinking and problem solving skills. Unlike more traditional courses that seek to promote these skills in the classroom, the plan is to do so in a more “real world” context, both inside and outside the classroom. Students will use high tech tools of the business and professional world and collaborate with community partners on serviced-based projects. Through the latter, EAST expects both the school and community to eventually benefit from EAST projects. But, the purpose of this course is “not to grow the project, but to grow the student”!

General Expectations of Students

EAST students should....

  1. View their spot in the EAST course as a privilege, not a right, and behave accordingly!
  2. Abide by school computer policies and EAST Program policies, both written and as instructors provide.
  3. Realize that EAST hardware and software are only to be used for academic purposes!
  4. Accept the challenge of constructing their own learning and view the course instructor as a facilitator rather than an information giver.
  5. Help nurture and maintain a productive, work-like, business-like atmosphere in the class.
  6. Work well with others, as a member of a project team and as individuals, willing to help peers learn for the benefit of the program, school and community!
  7. Bring a sense of determination and “stick-with-it ness” to the classroom. Students should recognize that “realworld” type challenges are not easy but also not impossible!

Four Stages of EAST:

Students should strive to:

     1develop basic skills from software tutorials, user manuals, facilitators, and peers within the classroom

           (in this stage, new students are getting acquainted with the EAST environment)

      2)   apply basic skills by solving small, intrinsic type problems or projects

      3)   take abilities to a new level and include internal service projects or projects related to the school curriculum

      4)   participate with community organizations, state or federal agencies, or academic institutions, in community-based research projects

High Expectations:

Students will be expected to acquire some knowledge of several software packages and work toward mastery of one program for every year enrolled in the EAST class.  While following EAST criteria, freedom is allowed for each team to choose a community project which meets their own personal interest(s) or goal(s).  A project plan will be required which outlines team members’ names, a description of the project, a timeline for stages of completion, and budget for needed materials.  Students should strive to complete sophisticated projects.