Through 4-H, youth can explore more than 100 project areas, from aerospace to veterinary science. In fact, 4-H provides a variety of ways to experience STEM – science, technology, engineering and math.
“All 4-H programs aim to help youth develop life skills, such as problem-solving, teamwork and leadership,” said Jo Ann Britton, 4-H Youth Development program coordinator. “In addition, 4-H Statewide STEM and Healthy Living programs are positively impacting science attitudes for youth at all ages, in contrast to national reports documenting sharp declines in STEM interest as youth get older.”
According to Illinois 4-H, 92 percent of 4-H members report that science, engineering or technology is important to a future job and 75 percent report that they would like a job related to science.
Whether you’re new to 4-H or want to get more involved in community STEM-based opportunities, check out these fall programs and events:
4-H Teen Science Ambassadors: 4-H Teen Science Ambassadors are a group of middle- and high-school students who learn different STEM-based lessons that they then share with community members at workshops, science fairs, after-school programs and special events throughout the school year.
To do this, 4-H Science Ambassadors receive focused training from 4-H staff and adult volunteers. Through this program, youth build knowledge, while developing presentation, leadership, communication and teamwork skills. The program is designed for youth entering grades six to 12. Register and find training dates at go.illinois.edu/science4Hdkk.
4-H National Youth Science Day: Join the 2018 National Science Challenge: Code Your World! Get involved in computer science through this hands-on multi-part challenge that teaches kids to apply computer science to the world around them.
Developed by Google and West Virginia University Extension Service, it includes a computer-based activity on Google’s CS First platform and three unplugged activities that bring coding to life through games and interaction. Code Your World uses games and hands-on fun to teach kids important computer science and computational thinking concepts, and is perfect for first-time and beginner coders ages 8-14. To learn more about this program in Kendall County, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Poultry SPIN Club: This special interest 4-H club is great for both new and returning members. The group meets monthly to learn about animal science as it relates to chickens. Learn about breeds, poultry care, the incubation process and much more. Led by 4-H poultry superintendent Beth Lohrey, it is designed for all experience levels. Parents welcome to stay, too. Save the dates for Nov. 17, Dec. 15, Jan. 19, Feb. 16, March 16 and April 13. Registration is open at go.illinois.edu/extensiondkk.
Bridge Bust Competition: Families, community members, 4-H’ers, and school students from DuPage, Kane and Kendall counties once again will put their engineering skills to the test in the seventh annual 4-H Bridge Bust Competition. Registration is open now. Building begins in November, and bridges will be put to the test in January. There are opportunities for a variety of ages, groups and levels. More information is available at go.illinois.edu/bridgebust4Hdkk.