4-H is engaging youth in robotics
By Jan Brinn
4-H is engaging youth in robotics. The 4-H robotics programs inspire young people and develop an interest in engineering and technology. This new project area is part of 4-H’s One Million New Scientists, One Million New IdeasTM campaign to engage one million new young people in science by the year 2013 and to address a declining trend in our nation’s science, engineer, mathematics and technology workforce.
The National 4-H Council announced in 2009 the new Alliance with FIRSTTM (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) to reach new youth across the nation and expand existing 4-H robotics programs. 4-H youth are provided opportunities to participate in friendly and educational competitions. These competitions encourage team-building skills, self confidence, sportsmanship and an interest in exploring future careers in science, engineering and technology. 4-H Robotics is delivered through 4-H clubs, camps, school enrichment, and after-school programs nationwide. Young people will be engaged in service learning, scientific learning, community service projects, develop leadership, citizenship skills and numerous life skills taught in 4-H.
According to 4-H Youth Science Studies (NAEP 2009) show American students are not taking enough interest in engineering and technology to maintain our country’s ability to lead innovation in the future. 4-H hopes to reverse that trend. 4-H Youth Science says “Robotics programs not only engage young people and adult mentors, but they also provide an opportunity for local 4-H Robotics Club members to interact with engineering experts in their communities. The curricula teaches young people design fundamentals by challenging them to think creatively and critically as they build their own robots to solve an engaging set of problems.”
Currently, 4-H Science programs reach more than five million youth with hands-on learning experiences to ensure global competitiveness and prepare the next generation of science, engineering, and technology leaders. Almost 400,000 4-H youth across the country participate in university research-based robotics and engineering programs and 4-H clubs in almost every state participate in FIRST programs.
To find out how you can start your own Robotics club, please contact your Local 4-H Extension office.
This article was published by MSU Extension. For more information, visit http://www.msue.msu.edu. To contact an expert in your area, visit http://expert.msue.msu.edu, or call 888-MSUE4MI (888-678-3464).