Greenbrier High School is one of only 15 high schools in Arkansas to be awarded funding for their "GHS EAST Drone Project." The EAST Initiative, in partnership with the Arkansas Department of Education, is pleased to award more than $94,000 in funding divided among 15 EAST schools for educational STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) projects that will serve their communities outside normal classroom hours in the summer and fall.

The EAST "Beyond the Bell" grants program provides funds for service-learning projects that create an engaging environment for students, utilizing technology to support the math and science curriculum.

The GHS EAST programs have already received much praise from the School Board for other projects that included a balloon launch this year.

The GHS Drone Project is exciting because high school EAST students will partner with BHP Billiton (a leading global resources company) and the director of the Launch Pad at the Innovation Hub, to create two modules to connect to a multirotor helicopter. Module one will collect data to create orthoimagery using 3D mapping tools. Module two will allow clients to use thermography to scan surfaces that could be a potential problem in the community.

The students feel this would benefit our community and students by providing our business clients and students access to cutting-edge technology while collecting research and data during the project.

BHP Billiton has an ongoing project in Fayetteville in the shale natural gas fields, including the associated midstream pipeline system.

EAST students take on real-world projects that cannot always be completed inside the classroom, often requiring continued work outside the normal school day," said Arkansas EAST program coordinator Erica Riley.