- Author: Anna Regalado
- Author: Fe Moncloa
To celebrate the National Youth Science Day (NYSD) challenge in October, the 4-H Youth Development Program in Santa Clara County offered two peer teaching NYSD events, where teens taught younger youth physical activities and puzzles from Game Changers, a computational thinking curriculum created by Google and the West Virginia Extension Service. In education, computational thinking refers to problem solving processes involved in expressing solutions as a sequence of steps that can be carried out by a computer.
October 4th: NYSD at Escuela Popular
The first event was held on October 4th at Escuela Popular Dual Language Learning Academy in San Jose, California, thanks to a grant from National 4-H Council in partnership with Lockheed Martin.
In preparation for their event, 4th graders learned from Spanish-speaking teens, Hack Your Harvest, a puzzle where children learned the concepts of optimal efficiency to figure out the fastest way to take a tractor to the barn. The first few puzzles are relatively easy; they grow in complexity as obstacles are added, and children need to pick up lettuce as well. For the NYSD event, the 4th graders created their own puzzles to teach 5th graders. Concurrently, 5th graders learned Program Your Playground, a physical activity where children learn the use of conditional statements while developing multiple games of “tag” that also grew in complexity. The 5th graders created their own games to teach to the 4th graders.
On the day of the event, 71 fourth and fifth grade students engaged in peer teaching. They learned the intersection of technology with agriculture, and how computer science and computational thinking play an important role in linking the two. These students were mentored by 13 Teen Teachers.
While all activities were taught in Spanish, during implementation the Teen Teachers coached youth in two languages.
Through observation, participating students increased their science literacy and gained valuable skills in leadership, communication, and positive peer interaction. In the near future, Teen Teachers, or Maestros Jovenes will continue to expand youth's computational thinking concepts to cultivate their problem solving skills, and interest and skills in computer science.
We hope we can inspire youth to reach beyond what they thought they were capable of, and get to witness the amazing things they achieve when they do.
October 20th: NYSD at Google Complex
The second event was held on October 20th at the Google Complex in Sunnyvale, thanks to a grant from National 4-H in partnership with Google. To prepare for this event, four teens met weekly to plan the event. Each teen was in charge of teaching one of the NYSD activities. This event was open to the public. More than 50% of the participants were not already enrolled in 4-H.
- Author: Fiona Reyes
- Author: Santiago Piva
- Author: Nikitha Fernandes
From November 1 to November 5, Nikitha Fernandes, Santiago Piva, Fiona Reyes, and Curtis Ullerich attended the National Youth Maker Summit in Maryland.
We attended this conference to reconnect with 4-H'ers who we met at the Computer Science Pathway Training this summer in Utah, and to share our progress with the Computer Science project in California.
We led a workshop on Cryptography, which was developed with the Computer Science Unplugged curriculum.
Since we arrived to the National 4-H Conference Center a day early, we were able to explore a little bit of Washington D.C. We visited the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and walked around the National Mall. Once the conference began, we dove straight into learning about the importance of the Maker movement.
Everyone can be a maker, and this is a culture that 4-H has had ever since it was founded.
A maker is someone who makes things. Makers are people who are producers, that create things for themselves and others. They can make anything, from creating a vegan pork rind company, to having a fashion design company or to working as an engineer at Google. In fact, these are all makers that we were able to meet at the National Youth Maker Summit.
How we can share what we learned
We are going to use what we learned at the Youth Summit to educate our youth in California about the Maker Movement. Some ideas for reaching out to various counties and clubs in our area in a hands-on way include:
- Creating portable kits that contain soldering irons and mini circuit boards to make light-up 4-H pins.
- Uploading instructional videos about how to use 3D printers. These videos would encourage members to make 3D printable objects and to use Scratch or Python to create things which they can enter at fair and in competitions.
- Uploading videos on wearable art using LEDs.
This would encourage other members to also realize their potential as makers, which would spread awareness about the Maker Movement. Also, we would like to bring the Computer Science Unplugged activities (which were a success) to areas of 4-H camp. We could do this by leading a recreation session, having a booth in the arts and crafts area, or having an activity for the clovers.
If you would like to know how you can use these ideas in your county, please contact the California Computer Science Pathway Team at email@example.com.
- Author: Ryan Chi
Are you interested in plants? Or perhaps you'd simply like to learn a bit more about horticulture? Then you should consider trying out for the California 4-H Horticulture Team! Every year, there's a horticulture contest at State Field Day at UC Davis. The contest is open to all ages, but if you're 15-18 and you score in the top four, then you can qualify for the state team and represent California at the National Junior Horticultural Association convention. If you'd like to get some practice first, you can also try the horticulture contest at Bay/Coast Area Field Day.
2017 National Horticulture Association Convention
Last month, I attended the 2017 National Junior Horticultural Association Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana as part of the California 4-H Horticulture Team. It was an amazing experience! The convention was a 4-day-long opportunity for youth all around the nation to learn more about horticulture through a myriad of contests, workshops, field trips, and other activities. The highlight, as it is every year, was the Horticulture Identification Contest, where contestants had to identify a hundred different samples of plants in four different categories: fruits, vegetables, flowers, and landscape ornamentals. These could be presented in almost any format, ranging from fruits and flowers to seeds and leaves or even pieces of bark.
Learning about horticulture through hands-on activities
Perhaps the best part about the attending the convention was being part of the California team. Through months of study sessions, we had not only improved on our horticultural knowledge, but also had also become good friends. By the time of the convention, we were a solid team, a close-knit group of collaborators working toward achieving a shared goal. The friendship and camaraderie we experienced together is an experience that is truly unparalleled.
Finishing 3rd, 2nd and 1st!
Our 4-H team did quite well: we finished 3rd in the horticulture identification contest, 2nd in the state display contest, and 1st in the horticulture Jeopardy contest. In addition, our California open team also did well: they placed 1st in their category for the horticulture identification contest.
I'm looking forward to competing again next year!
For more information about the 4-H Horticulture Team and the State Field Day competition, please contact DeAnn Tenhunfeld at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Author: Emma Simpson
- Editor: Martin Smith
Youth from 4-H programs in Yuba and Sutter counties participated in the recently-completed Mitigating Zoonotic and Animal Disease (MZAD) Project by the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR). As part of this project, they tested bio-security risk assessment and mitigation procedures, and helped formulate changes to decrease the potential of pathogen transmission at their county fair.
Tour of UC Davis Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital
On November 1, 2017, 12 4-H youth, their parents, and 4-H Program Representative, Tracy Bishop, came to UC Davis to tour its Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital. The tour was presented as a thank you to the youth for not only participating in the project, but to acknowledge their efforts in making on-farm and at-fair practices.
The tour began by viewing the surgery recovery barn for large animals and continued by viewing the MRI and CT scanning rooms. In the Small Animal Clinic, youth viewed dog bone x-rays and the pantry where dietitians make special meals based on an animal's recovery, dietary, and food allergy needs.
The tour also included an emphasis on veterinary research that occurs in the hospital. “UC Davis prides itself in the research done throughout the campus. Would any of you be interested in doing research in the future?” the guide asked. The tour guide didn't know that these youth had already been involved in research through their involvement in the MZAD Project! Through their involvement, these youth tested bio-security practices that focused on keeping animals and people healthy.
The guide concluded the tour by admiring the youth's achievements, adding that she hoped some of them will continue their studies at UC Davis in the future.
- Wyatt Coffman
- Holden Hicks
- Elsie Serger
- Kaitlyn Johnson
- Jessica Deagostini
- Emily Harryman
- Linzee Degraff
- Haley Hicks
- Weston Coffman
- Mason Serger
Supplementary Video Extension Project: Bio-security at Fairs
In collaboration with the California Department of Food and Agriculture, UC Davis developed three informational videos that summarize bio-security risks and recommendations to improve practices. All three videos feature 4-H'ers and their animals.
If you would like to feature these videos on your organizations' website, please contact Martin Smith (email@example.com) for more information.
Youth Livestock Exhibitors
Focusing on bio-security risk assessment and mitigation strategies, and recommendations for implementing these procedures on farm and at fair.
A highly visible Public Service Announcement highlighting hygiene and other risk mitigating practices that will help educate visitors at fairs throughout California.
Focusing on recommendations for bio-security procedures and policies that will support risk mitigation at California fairs and exhibitions./h3>/h3>/h3>/h2>/h2>
- Author: Vicky Cantwell
- Editor: Suzanne Morikawa
Editor's note: Today is "Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day" and we'd like to highlight a 4-H'er who is already an engineer!
On February 7, Amanda Cantwell participated in the 2017 Imperial County Science Fair. Her project, Piano Stairs, won first place in the Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Division. After all the division winners were announced, the Best Overall winner was announced and to her surprise, she won! Next, her project will compete in the Greater San Diego Science and Engineering fair on March 15th.
A piano staircase
Amanda got the idea for her project from her science club advisor. Her high school is going to build a new science building to get more students interested in the STEM initiative and her teacher asked her if I wanted to build a prototype of a piano staircase. She said that if it was well made and doable that it may be used in the future building. She instantly became drawn to the idea of designing the staircase for her school's building and became excited to start the project.
Her ultimate goal was to build a musical staircase to play piano musical notes as people walk up and down the stairs. This is a two-year project, and this year she built a prototype and tested several sensors and possible solutions to use in the piano stairs. Her mini piano stairs can play different musical tones as the different sensors are triggered or steps are pressed. Next year, she will build a life size staircase and play real piano sounds. “It was fun and I learned a lot form it,” she said. “In the future, I hope to become a mechanical or bio-medical engineer.”
Amanda is a sophomore at Central Union High School and she has been a 4-H member for 7 years. She is the President of the McCabe 4-H club and one of her favorite projects is the Robotics project. Her 4-H Robotics group just got done designing mini battery powered electrical cars with an on/off switch that will be submitted to the fair in a few days! They will also submit a Lego Mindstorms “Humanoid” robot that moves its arms, legs and hands.