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!