The Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation has granted the EAST Initiative and the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub $35,000 to support and encourage entrepreneurship in Central Arkansas, Talk Business & Politics reports.
The matching grant, in cooperation with a recent donation of the same amount from AT&T, will assist with the procurement and setup of technology and equipment to be used in the EAST STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) lab, and provide technical training sessions for students and the community.
The Hub is located in the Argenta District of North Little Rock.
“The EAST Initiative is so very excited about this opportunity to enhance the education that the students of the region are going to be able to have at the Innovation Hub,” said Matt Dozier, the EAST Initiative President and CEO. “Just as in the beginning of EAST, the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation sees the value and vision of what we can do in our partnership with the Hub.”
The STEAM lab will include technology such as Apple iMac computers loaded with professional software, HP Plotter large-format printers, Arduino microcontrollers for coding and professional photography and videography equipment, all available for participants to use.
“We deeply appreciate the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation’s willingness to provide the support to complete the STEAM lab at our Innovation Hub,” said Warwick Sabin, Executive Director of the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub. “This generous investment allows us to move forward with the EAST Initiative to offer the kinds of advanced education and programs that will increase opportunities and broaden horizons for so many people in our state.”
With the Rockefeller Foundation grant, the EAST Initiative and the Innovation Hub partnership will expand EAST learning in an effort to foster technology- and engineering-based innovation and entrepreneurship.
“Our students must have access to advanced technology and high-quality instruction in order for our state to increase the number of Arkansans prepared for high-skill careers in science, technology, engineering, and math related fields,” said Dr. Sherece West-Scantlebury, president and CEO of the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation. “We applaud the commitment of the EAST Initiative and Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub to build new entrepreneurship and innovation opportunities in Arkansas.”