- Author: Ashley Pyler, Loma Vista 4-H
On October 10th, 2018, Ventura County 4-H hosted a fun and educational event at the UCCE Office in Ventura, California. This event was called "Code Your World" Ventura County 4-H Science Night. At the event, the 4-H members who attended were exposed to all kinds of new things in the STEM field. The main focus for this event was on coding, and how specifically it must be done.
Members began their long but enjoyable night with learning how scientists discover the odds of an experiment by tossing a coin a certain number of times, and recording each outcome. The members at the end of each experiment then had to explain if the following scientific test that they had just conducted was fair or not and why.
The 4-H kids at Science Night were also taught what an algorithm is, and why it's important to the artificial intelligence world. The group then participated in the chicken dance. After that, they wrote an algorithm for the chicken dance, and all of the adults at the event had to dance based on how that algorithm explained the chicken dance, not how they remember the dance. At the end of that activity, the event's participants had a discussion to figure out what worked well with the algorithm's instructions, and what didn't work well. This exercise taught the 4-H members that when you are doing coding, it is vitally important that you are extremely specific.
The last activity for the night started off with a "field trip" to the office's library. In this room, there was a table, some chairs, and a pretty sizable television screen. The members then pulled out their smart phones, and hooked them up to the TV screen. It was then time for the true test. The test was to see how much the members were learning during the night's activities.
The test the members took was on an app called the "Kahoot!" In this activity, 4-H members were digitally asked questions on the TV Screen, and then were given a short amount of time to answer on their smart phones. Whoever answered the questions correctly and fast enough, won the game once all the questions were asked.
This event was very informational and fun. The lessons that were learned by the participants of the event are important to know, and are even more beneficial if you are looking at a career path in the STEM Field. I strongly encourage that all 4-H members attend the next Science Night Event.