While attending the 2011 Environmental and Spatial Technology (EAST) Conference in HotSprings, Arkansas, Conwell-Egan Catholic High School’s EAST team was honored as ranking among the top in the nation.

Conwell-Egan Catholic (CEC) was named Superior School, the

highest conference rating, and CEC’s program won the Award of Excellence as one of the top three schools for the entire conference.

Conwell-Egan Catholic is one of two schools east of the Mississippi River to offer this program and the only Catholic school to do so. It is the only program outside of Arkansas to be recognized as one of the 10 Founder’s Award finalists, surpassing more than 250 EAST schools across the country, based on overall program impact and various projects.

The program is not a typical high school class. Instead of a teacher who instructs, dictates, and assigns tasks, a trained facilitator runs an EAST class, managing, directing, and helping students find solutions to technological problems on their own. Most assignments are student-generated and student-created, with students being able to recognize a personal, school, community, and

sometimes global need that creative thinking and technology can satisfy.

Over the past five years, CEC EAST students have designed green buildings using professional grade software. They have partnered with community organizations and architects to help rehabilitate homes for the homeless and underprivileged. They have created two hour-long professional-level documentaries-one focusing on Holocaust survivors living in Lower Bucks County and another highlighting Bristol Borough’s history with both Harriet Tubman’s

descendants and the Underground Railroad.

Prizes for the EAST award included an Apple IPad, 24-inch Hp computer, flip camera, and thousands of dollars in new software downloadable for the EAST lab’s computers.