We made the following grants, totaling $79,492 to Hopkins Schools in 2015 – 2016.
Full STEAM Ahead — Royal Bash 2016 special appeal
The second year of our bold, exciting 3-year initiative to bring extraordinary, meaningful educational experiences to all Hopkins students, creatively tapping into some amazing resources beyond our District. Full STEAM ahead funds projects at all levels: 1) Stages Theater for kindergarten 2) Service projects for JH and 3) career lectures for HHS. Read more.
3-D Learning Through Virtual Reality – $6,300 – Glen Lake Elementary – Colette Kastner, Robb Trenda, Peter Larson
HEF is funding this curricular enrichment to give students the deeper learning and understanding made possible by an immersive 360-degree experience. Students in grades 2 – 6 will be guided by their teachers and engaged in the curriculum in completely new and powerful ways through more than 100 VR destinations and experiences. Immersive ‘trips’ aligned with the curriculum bring life to lessons and provide exciting experiences for all students, opening up a world of possibilities. Read more.
A capella Enhanced With Technology – $4,584 –Hopkins High School – Philip Brown, Alan Thompson
This grant funds equipment to enhance the overall quality of Hopkins’ renowned vocal music program. By allowing the singers to better hear and record their voices, this grant of microphones, mixers and speakers will greatly enhance public performances while expanding and deepening the level of music the choir program can perform. It’s a wonderful marriage between technology and fine art. Read more.
Community Vegetable Garden & Outdoor Classroom – $4,479, Glen Lake Elementary – Hannah Swaden, Maria Williams, David Simpson
Partnering with Glen Lake’s community, the school’s new living laboratory will focus on science, agriculture, and cooperation. Each grade level will plant six plots and use the garden in a different way. Third graders, for example, will grow their own snacks, study the physics of sound, build birdhouses, and investigate native rocks and minerals. The outdoor classroom will include benches and tree stumps for seating, and will provide an intriguing alternative learning environment, with space for unique science experiments and nature observation. Extra food will be donated to the ICA Food Shelf. Read more.
Creating Sustainable Mini-Ecosystems – $941 – West Junior High – Mary VanPilsum-Johnson, Lauren Wester, Geoffrey Boeder
Excited 7th graders formulated the idea for this project and undertook the initial research into designing and building two hydroponic gardens (‘floating’ plants growing in a mineral nutrient solution in water, without soil) and an aquaponic garden (fish living beneath a floating garden). The students’ inspiration came from an existing 70-gallon fish tank in one of the Life Science classrooms, and HEF is excited to encourage their enthusiasm. This is more than just a fun project, however; as students learn more about the balance of ecosystems, they’ll be meeting science curriculum state standards in Life Science and Ecology. Read more.
Designing a Coding Curriculum for K-6 – $3,700 – Alice Smith Elementary – Jodi De St. Hubert, Emily Acker, Doreen Carlson
This HEF grant to Alice Smith Elementary will fund the design of a Coding Curriculum for grades K-6, building the necessary soft and hard skills needed for computer programming, and offering access to the vast opportunities awaiting our students in the future. This curriculum will go beyond the Hour of Code already engaging our students, and Hopkins will be one of the few school districts in Minnesota to offer a formal coding curriculum for K-6. Read more.
Royal Roundup, NJH’s weekly video show presented to the entire student body, will get a big facelift. This grant enables North’s student Genius Team to take the lead in designing and remodeling the current outdated video studio. New equipment will be used for the Roundup, and will also be available to all students to create, edit, and share video productions with a school-wide audience. Read more.
‘Get Set for School’ ECSE Curriculum – $3,000, Harley Hopkins Family Center – Jennifer Muller, Linda Hanson, Jackie Wood
The Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) team at Harley Hopkins is currently successfully piloting the Get Set for School preschool curriculum. This HEF grant expands Get Set to six sets of materials to enable widespread use among all ECSE classrooms. Each year, more than 100 three to five-year-old students with a variety of disabilities will benefit from these terrific learning tools, which support children’s diverse learning styles. Read more.
Fun, hands-on science takes flight with this helium-powered weather balloon. Seventh and eighth grade students in the Experimental Science elective will track the balloon’s fact-finding mission with a Go-Pro camera they install before launch. Data sensors, recorders, and GPS tracking device on board will transmit back to students. They’ll use the data to understand weather and atmosphere, to hone graphing skills, and for analysis and discussion. The project will culminate in a student-created high-quality video of the launch, and a presentation of their experimental findings at the school science fair. Read more.
History Live – $3,000, North & West Junior Highs, All Sixth Grades – Allegra Smisek, Betsy Julien, Norah Garrison
Minnesota Historical Society experts will use 21st Century technology to ‘transport’ Hopkins students back in time, connecting them to important segments of our country’s history. Students interact via video conference with historians in period costume, effectively bringing these experts into the classroom. Using archives, primary sources and intense research, this virtual field trip takes students on a journey to a time and place as foreign as another planet, making history relevant and comprehensible. Read more.
Increasing Success & Rigor in Advanced Placement – $5,750 – Hopkins High School – Bethany Ocar, John Sammler
More than 1/3 of HHS students are currently enrolled in Advanced Placement classes (AP), which offer college credit in return for a high test score. This HEF grant funds initial access to Albert.io, online practice multiple choice questions with immediate results and feedback. This vehicle targets higher achievement by allowing students to practice fact-based knowledge at home. The AP instructor can then focus class time on essay writing, critical thinking skills, and the FRQ’s (free response questions) that students must master to do well on the AP tests – and are critical skills in any post-secondary endeavor. Read more.
Kiva Microfinance: Making a Difference in the Third World – $4,175, North & West Junior Highs – Allegra Smisek, Debbie Hahn, Kim Campbell
This is an exciting addition to the eighth grade International Baccalaureate’s (IB) global studies curriculum. Students, collaborating in groups of three, will get the opportunity to invest in someone’s future. After first heavily researching entrepreneurs in developing Third World countries, each group will choose a small business to receive a $25 loan. The group must present their research and track the outcome of their investment. Read more.
Minecraft After-School Club – $2,337, North & West Junior Highs — Sarah Speicher, Becky Jacobson, Becky Fritz
In this fun extra-curricular enrichment program, junior high students play MinecraftEdu, a school-ready remix of the popular game Minecraft. They’ll learn programming and coding, planning, asset management and critical thinking skills. Students will be able to use what they learn in Minecraft Club for projects in nearly any subject area. Read more.
RoboSquad – Bringing STARBASE to Elementary – $6,000, Meadowbrook Elementary – Chuck Burmeister, Kelley White, Bobby Krzmarzick
Fourth and fifth graders across the District are attending STARBASE Minnesota, a Department of Defense program that utilizes a mission to Mars as the vehicle to introduce practical fun applications of engineering and science principles. RoboSquad brings STARBASE back to Hopkins. This pilot program consists of building and manipulating twelve Lego programmable robots. Read more.
Rocket Science – $550 – North Junior High – John Leaf, Jeremy Reichel
Experimental Science class is the perfect place to design and build water rockets, and to test variables such as wing shape, fuel amounts, or nose cone shape. This grant provides re-usable launchers to get this exciting experiment off of the ground (up to 100 meters!) and delve students deep into the scientific method. Forming hypotheses, analyzing results, re-evaluating and rebuilding will all be part of this water rocket project, and fit neatly into the junior highs’ International Baccalaureate (IB) parameters of Inquiry and Design, as well as Processing and Evaluating. Read more.
Tower Vegetable Garden: Indoor Harvesting and Sharing – $1,148, Eisenhower & XinXing Elementaries – Vicky White, William Barringer
Second graders will plant, monitor, harvest and share the bounty from this impressive tower of fauna on wheels. As the pyramid of 28 plants circulates among five classrooms, these fast-growing (4-8 weeks) fruits and vegetables will encourage experimentation with new food and discussions about healthy choices. Read more.
Shifting to New Concepts in Literacy – $3,600, North & West Junior Highs, Hopkins High School – Jennifer Behnke, Ann Brustuen
HEF is partnering with the Hopkins School District to send nine teachers to train next summer in successful research-based adolescent literacy education for junior high and high school students. These teachers will in turn train others in the District in these ‘best practices’. Read more.