Podcasting in the classroom | East & West High school

This project aims to acquire podcasting supplies for the agriculture department, in collaboration with the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities’ Agricultural Communications Department. This project will pave the way for the integration of the production cycle and podcasting into our curriculum, enabling students to proficiently plan, record, and edit podcasts focused on diverse agricultural topics.



Visual Planetarium Dome | East High School:

The cutting-edge GeoDome Globe, an addtion to the East Planetarim, will offer an immersive and interactive learning experience for all. This GeoDome Globe will engage not only our Mankato East ninth graders but also District 77’s elementary students and West High School attendees during their visits. Moreover, this remarkable setup will be available for after-hour shows and tailored public presentations, reaching out to an estimated 15,000-plus students and community members within the Mankato vicinity.

Adventure Ed | Futures/sun:

Our students with unique needs will soon enjoy thrilling outdoor adventures, building confidence and essential life skills with outdoor equipment. It will create a nurturing environment for students to embrace the great outdoors with joy and enthusiasm, empowering them to step out of their comfort zones and explore new horizons.

INDI Robot Initiative | Franklin Elementary:

The Sphero Indi Learning Robot will be empowering students to embark on an exciting journey into the world of coding and STEAM activities. This innovative tool will allow our youngest learners to dive into the fundamentals of coding through the use of colors and block coding. With this cutting-edge technology, students have the opportunity to grasp the basics of computational thinking and the core principles of computer science.

Tchoukball | Roosevelt Elementary:

Introducing an exhilarating new game, Tchoukball, pronounced “chuke-ball.” A seamlessly blending team handball and basketball. Aligned with SHAPE America National Standards, this game promotes catching, throwing, and spatial awareness while fostering teamwork and boosting heart rates. Get ready for an energizing twist in our Physical Education curriculum!

Jefferson Elementary received an Educare grant to purchase Sink and Float STEM kits. 19 days into school the students had their first experience with STEM learning! “It felt a bit chaotic, mostly because I chose one with water, but the kids LOVED it and had so much fun!” said Amber Leonhardi, kindergarten teacher at Jefferson Elementary. “We’ve been talking and learning about weight in math, so we extended our learning with the Sink and Float STEM kit. The kids explored making items heavy to make it sink and lighter objects floated!”

Learn more about Educare Ed Waltman Mini Grants.

Roosevelt Elementary received an Educare grant to purchase heart monitors and now students are working harder to reach their target heart rate. “The students at Roosevelt have loved using the heart monitors, and more importantly it has GREATLY increased students effort and participation during class activities,” said Pat Burmeister, physical education specialist at Roosevelt Elementary. “Students who would walk during jogging time, are now jogging, and students who normally jog are now working harder to reach their target heart rate. The immediate feedback from the heart monitors has increased student effort and will have a lifelong impact on our students understanding of fitness.”

Central High School construction students built two picnic tables that are ADA compliant for the Special Education Department at Prairie Winds Middle School. The Educare Foundation Initiative Grant allowed Central High School to buy the tools and equipment needed to build these picnic tables. The students also built tool cabinets to store their new tools and equipment.

The students in Caleb Watson’s construction class have been busy working on other projects that include: framing of floors and walls, installing sub-flooring, wiring, drywall installation, installing flooring and also designing and installing their own tiled backsplash.

Mrs. Trnka’s First Grade Class had a fun time during their Healthy Food Unit funded by an Educare Mini Grant. Mrs. Trnka was able to purchase the food and have 40 students try five different recipes. The feedback from the parents was great as they were excited that their kids were trying new fruits and vegetables at home because of what they tried in class!

Educare funded an Ed Waltman Mini Grant to 6th grade teachers, Andrea Dallman and Alexandra Christian, to fund 70 copies of Soldier’s Heart novella to split between classrooms at Prairie Winds Middle School (PWMS). Soldier’s Heart: Being the Story of the Enlistment and Due Service of the Boy Charley Goddard in the First Minnesota Volunteers is a historical war novella written by a local Minnesota author, Gary Paulsen.

Funding also included a ration package, hat and copper bucket to compliment the theme of the book.

Educare funded a grant request from Mr. Shores, GTT and Vex advisor at Prairie Winds Middle School (PWMS), to purchase a VEX Robotics practice field and to continue robotics education for our junior high students.

In February 2017, our PWMS team won the Middle School VEX Robotics State Tournament and will move on to the VEX Worlds Competition in April.

Mankato West High School also qualified for the VEX Worlds Competition in April, which makes five teams out of 100 that competed in the State Tournament that will be representing Mankato schools at Worlds Competition!