TechTakeOver(Jonesboro, Arkansas) September 27, 2017—Phillip Poston, Hytrol’s director of strategic planning, delivered a keynote address at the Facebook TechStart’s “Tech Take Over Event” at Arkansas State University Wednesday. During the address, Poston shared how local high school students can engage with technology to explore STEM career paths as part of the TechStart initiative.

TechStart, a Facebook education initiative that launched in 2015, uses technologies like virtual reality and 360-degree media to expose students to computer science educational opportunities and garner interest in STEM careers.

Poston said this high-end technology is changing not only the way students learn, but the way the material handling industry operates.

“Technology is impacting modern industries like material handling, and events like these give students great exposure to opportunities in STEM. We want students to be able to work on developing this unique skillset for their future employers—including those right here in Arkansas,” said Poston.

In January, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced a unique partnership with social media giant Facebook and the Arkansas Department of Education to launch the company’s TechStart program in Arkansas public high schools. Since its launch, Hutchinson announced last month that the partnership has expanded to include all of Arkansas’ more than 360 public high schools. Each high school will receive an Oculus VR kit and additional technology to help familiarize students with the STEM field.

“We are appreciative to Facebook for its continued efforts to generate excitement for STEM fields in Arkansas high schools,” Hutchison said in an official statement. “Facebook’s generous donation will provide Arkansas students with an exciting learning platform that will allow them to have fun while sharpening their computer science skills and exploring STEM careers. Students who utilize this incredible platform will be well-positioned to succeed in our increasingly technology driven economy.” 

ASU is one of five tour stops that the Arkansas Department of Education and Facebook are visiting to introduce this unique program to Arkansas public school students.

“Support for STEM-focused events that encourage high school students in the state to pursue their educational dreams is extremely important, not just to Arkansas State, but to every Arkansan,” said ASU-Jonesboro Chancellor Dr. Kelly Damphousse.

He said, “Through this upcoming event as well as local outreach like the A-State Innovation System, we want students to use their imagination to engage in unique technologies that will become the keys to breakthrough of the future.”

For more information on the program, visit


About Hytrol:

Hytrol designs and manufactures advanced conveyor systems, controls, and solutions for customers with processing, manufacturing, warehousing, and distribution needs. For 70 years, Hytrol has demonstrated an unwavering dedication to understanding the unique material handling needs of businesses. Hytrol is focused on creating innovative, customized conveyor solutions that help companies achieve their goals. Follow Hytrol on Twitter @hytrol.



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