ESU 5 Introduces the EKCO Program

ESU #5 is very excited to launch the EKCO Program for the 2020-2021 school year!  EKCO stands for Exposing Kids to Career Opportunities. The focus of the program is CTE career areas and opportunities available through 2 year colleges, trade schools, on the job training and apprenticeships. There are great opportunities in these career areas - our goal is to help students find them.

The EKCO program features equipment that can be checked out by districts and utilized in any content area to give students experience with different CTE skills. Much of the equipment available through the program is either not currently available in districts at this time or available, but on a limited basis. Our equipment is available through a couple of different levels to the program:

  • EKCO Enterprises features large commercial equipment (laser cutters, vinyl cutters and large format printers) that have been purchased through our Perkins consortium dollars.  Consorting districts will receive a piece of this equipment for approximately a quarter of the school year.  This equipment was purchased because of the CTE skills needed to utilize it - but also for the ability to use the equipment for school based entrepreneurial activities. Each piece of commercial equipment has the ability to create many different items that could be then sold to your community. Students could learn how to run an upstart business through this equipment. Each quarter the equipment will rotate and schools will have something new to run their business with. By the end of the year consorting schools will have had access to all of the commercial equipment.
  • EKCO Location features equipment that is available to all schools and can be utilized at any grade level. There is a lot of variety in this equipment from devices to learn coding to cricut machines for simple entrepreneurship to portable CNC wood routers and 3D printers to experience CTE skills. Virtual or augmented reality equipment and simulation modules are also available through EKCO Location. These could be utilized for the curriculum options available through them.

One of the key features of the EKCO Program is the staff assigned to it. Matt Dworak has been teaching science in our elementary DL program. We were able to hire new science staff - so we have moved Matt fully to the EKCO Program. If you are interested in learning more or checking out equipment, please contact Matt at or checkout the ESU website under the Resources tab.


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