Today's Paper Digital FAQ Readers Choice Public Notices Young Leaders Latest Podcast Polls Obits Jobs Classifieds Newsletters Puzzles Circulars

TASD unveils tech-rich Smart Labs

by Andrew Bell | September 15, 2022 at 10:00 p.m.
Fifth-grader Gabrielle Thomas, right, and fourth-grader Ziyanna Merritt work on a coding assignment Thursday, Sept. 15, 2022, in the new Smart Lab at Harmony Leadership Academy in Texarkana, Ark. (Staff Photo by Andrew Bell)

TEXARKANA, Ark. -- The Texarkana Arkansas School District showcased its new Smart Labs on Thursday evening.

The labs are meant to provide more science, technology, engineering and math opportunities to address learning loss due to COVID-19. Smart Labs fully integrate learning environments where everything -- from the furniture, to technology, to learning kits -- works together to support students during a hands-on learning experience.

Grand openings took place during parent/teacher conferences at Fairview Elementary School, North Heights Community School, Harmony Leadership Academy and Arkansas High School campuses.

The new lab at Harmony Leadership includes learning robots, 3D printers, iPad carts, a flat-screen television and 13 iMac computers.

Principal Brian Mitchell said the goal is to take students even deeper into the robotics and coding process, as well as fine arts.

"This is exactly the next step that we needed for this group," he said. "It compliments and levels up what was already in this room."

Smart Lab Facilitator Ashley Littleton said classes will incorporate computer science, robotics, coding, engineering and more into students' curriculum with a hands-on approach

"We're really excited about having these Smart Labs. What we're hoping is that it's really going to elevate their computer science education," she said..

Littleton said a lot of students who participate in her classes come in with prerequisite knowledge of how computers work because of the level of technology they interact with on a daily basis at their homes.

"I have students that are excellent at coding who may be a little lower in other areas, but they come in here and they really excel," she said. "Students are used to playing video games and playing on their iPads. And when you do coding and computer science, it kind of brings those aspects in. So a lot of them don't even realize how good they are at it."

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

To learn more about Creative Learning Systems Smart Labs, visit

photo One of Harmony Leadership Academy's new iMac computers is seen in the school's Smart Lab on Thursday, Sept. 15, 2022. (Staff photo by Andrew Bell)

Print Headline: TASD unveils tech-rich Smart Labs


Sponsor Content


Recommended for you