TASD to hold grand opening for new Smart Labs

Harmony Leadership Academy student Arianna Burns works on a robotics project in the school’s current lab. (Gazette file photo)

TEXARKANA, Ark. -- The Texarkana Arkansas School District will hold grand openings for four of the district's new Smart Labs on Friday afternoon.

The grand openings will take place during parent/teacher conferences on the Fairview Elementary School, North Heights Community School, Harmony Leadership Academy and Arkansas High School campuses.

During an April 2022 board meeting, the TASD Board of Directors approved the purchase of Smart Labs for $724,518. The labs are meant to provide more science, technology, engineering and math opportunities to students in the district to address learning loss due to COVID-19.

Smart Labs are comprehensive learning programs that support students' math and science objectives by empowering learners to solve problems and make decisions both in and beyond the classroom. Additionally, Smart Labs fully integrate learning environments where everything -- from the furniture, to technology, to learning kits -- works together to support students during their hands-on, minds-on learning journey.

In a past interview with the Gazette, Director of School Improvement Matt Coleman said many of the projects will include situations in which a problem or challenge is presented and the students have to use the resources available in the lab to solve it. This will include the application of robotics and how it can address certain challenges someone may face in the world.

"Providing STEM opportunities to students in our district is essential in addressing learning loss due to COVID-19," Superintendent Dr. Becky Kesler said. "Smart Labs align with the district's Project-Based Learning Initiative which is implemented across the district."

TASD is also looking to implement additional Smart Labs on the remaining campuses.

To learn more about Creative Learning Systems Smart Labs, visit smartlablearning.com.