Celebrate National 4-H Week October 7-13

posted on October 3, 2012 4:12pm

EAST LANSING, Mich. – October 7-13 is National 4-H week and counties across Michigan will be celebrating the youth who have made an impact in their communities and who are stepping up to the challenges of a complex and changing world.

Not only is Michigan 4-H a great organization in which youth can participate, recent findings from Tufts University’s 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development indicate that young people in 4-H are three times more likely to contribute to their communities than youth not participating in 4-H. A notable discovery from the Tufts research notes structured learning, encouragement and mentoring from adults play a vital role in helping youth actively contribute to their communities. With 540,000 volunteers, 3,500 professionals, and more than 60 million alumni across the country, 4-H designs programs to shape the future leaders and innovators in the country.

Kids putting their heads together, working on a 4-H National Science Day activity.One event taking place during National 4-H Week is the 2012 National Science Experiment. Wednesday, Oct. 10 is 4-H National Science Day and Michigan youth from all around the state will participate in a single innovative experiment, along with thousands of youth across the country. The 4-H Eco-Bot Challenge will explore how robots can be used to preserve and protect the environment, while offering a glimpse into the future of science, technology, engineering and math.

The experiment allows youth to become scientists for the day and introduces them to robotic engineering concepts as they program a self-sufficient robot to clean up a replica of an environmental spill. Youth will build their own robot, design a set of control surfaces and record how much of the spill was cleaned up.

“In Michigan, it wasn’t very long ago that there was an oil spill in this state, and this activity is a way to simulate that,” said Jake Dedecker, program leader for Michigan State University Extension children and youth programs. “It is not just about learning about science, it is about applying science to the world we live in.”

4-H National Youth Science Day is an important annual part of 4-H’s One Million New Scientists initiative, with a goal of attracting one million new youth to science, engineering and technology programs by 2013.

Currently, more than five million young people across the nation participate in 4-H science, engineering and technology programming in topics as varied as robotics, rocketry, wind power, GPS mapping, agriculture science, water quality and biofuel. For its fifth year, 4-H National Youth Science Day seeks to spark an early youth interest and leadership in science reminding youth to stand up for themselves and their community.

4-H youth are a living, breathing, culture-changing revolution for doing the right thing, breaking through obstacles and pushing our country forward by making a measurable difference right where they live. Learn how you can Join the Revolution of Responsibility at 4-H.org/revolution or for more information about 4-H National Youth Science Day, visit 4-H.org/NYSD.

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