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Hot Springs students use technology to improve visitors’ experience of the eclipse



Hot Springs, Arkansas – Using their technological prowess, a group of students in Hot Springs are embracing the eclipse phenomenon by developing projects that will help tourists who are considering visiting their city for the major event in April.

Students in EAST, or Education Accelerated by Service and Technology, at Hot Springs World Class High School have been hard at work creating an interactive map and a brochure with geographic information system technology.

The greatest places to see the eclipse, the city’s safety regulations, and other fascinating information will all be highlighted in these initiatives.

One of the EAST program participants, Jaylen O’Neal, said that they met with Bill Solleder, the head of marketing for Visit Hot Springs, to discuss how they may become involved.

“They went in and they created an entire map of Hot Springs and located where the main events are,” said EAST teacher, Breanna Burris. “They went in and put pop-ups on all of those areas. The Waters Hotel is having an event. Oaklawn Casino is having an event. There are so many events taking place.”
According to Burris, her students have been working on making it simple for visitors to locate all of the eclipse-related information in one location.

“It was something that they came up with,” said Burris. “They brainstormed the idea. They reach out to the community and the community gets back to them and says ‘This is how you can help.’ They (the students) get to learn the technology. They get to learn how to do those things that really do benefit the community.”
According to Burris, the project is entirely student-led.

“They are doing it and they are learning,” said Burris. “They are growing. They get to take the ownership. It is really cool to see how are kids are capable of doing so many amazing things.”
One of the two national parks in the United States along the eclipse’s path of totality is Hot Springs National Park.

On April 8, the eclipse is scheduled to last for three minutes and 37 seconds.

According to Scott, a housing initiative would be revealed later in the year. He claims that their previous project of 100 homes is almost complete. Scott contends that as every inhabitant requires a remedy, it is imperative to handle the homeless situation.

“This is something that’s been going on well before me and we want to make certain that it doesn’t go well after me. When you’re in a position you must act,” Scott said.

Scott said they plan to name a chief homeless officer by the end of April.



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