Spring 2016 Grant Summary

Thanks Kids pictureHEF grants fund a wide range of projects that both supplement and complement Hopkins School District’s rigorous core curriculum. This spring’s cycle of grants, totaling $21,825, includes creative, engaging projects at all levels. HEF continues our strong partnership with Hopkins Schools to prepare our students for the 21st century.



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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

Audio Technology grantA 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.

Ecosystems Hydroponics Grant pictureCreating 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 Coding GrantDesigning 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.

Rigor GrantIncreasing 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.

Water Rockets GrantRocket 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.

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