- Author: Suzanne Morikawa
- Author: Nathan Chi
Towards the end of National 4-H Week this year, from October 11 to 14, our California 4-H Horticulture team competed at the 2019 National Junior Horticulture Association Convention in Lincoln, Nebraska. The event took place at the Lincoln Marriott-Cornhusker Hotel, and consisted of 9 Teams and 143 individual registered attendees.
Their coach, Dr. Terry Berke, shared photos and their team results with us. The team members qualified at the Horticulture Contest at State Field Day in June. What a short time to practice together! Big thanks and kudos to Dr. Berke for bringing together a cohesive—and winning —team! We also want to thank two of our sponsors, Dean Memorial Legacy Fund and the Farm Credit Bureau, for their support to help our team participate in this national competition.
The team participated in a variety of workshops and tours to the Henry Doorly Zoo and Lauritzen Gardens. This biological park leads the nation's conservation efforts. It houses the world's largest indoor desert and the largest indoor rainforest in North America. Convention events included contests in horticultural demonstratinos, public and extemporaneous speaking, and horticulture judging and identification. They also had a photography exhibition and evaluation of projects in environmental awareness, experimental horticulture, and marketing.
The California 4-H team finished third overall in the competition. Nathan Chi (Santa Clara County) was the first place 4-H individual! All of the other team members also placed in this national competition: Hollie Schneider (San Joaquin County)-11th, Emily Wouts (Contra Costa County) -14th, and Collin Robinson-Burmester (Yolo County) -20th.
I was honored to represent the State of California as part of the 4-H State Horticulture Team at the 2019 National Junior Horticultural Association Convention in Lincoln. It was exciting for me to not only test my horticulture knowledge, but to also meet new people with similar interests and learn from experienced horticulturists on tours and workshops.
The convention is an opportunity for youth passionate about horticulture. Each year's highlight is the Horticulture Identification Contest, where we identify 100 different plant samples. We also answer 80 multiple choice questions (which can about many horticultural topics, ranging from turf to propagation) and complete a judging section, where we grade plants by quality and uniformity.
Every year, each team has a display highlighting the agricultural products of their home state. Our theme this year was citrus fruits since California is a major producer.
Dr. Berke coached our team and provided several 3-hour-long practice sessions for us throughout the summer. We also spent many hours studying on our own. I'm excited to say that our team finished 3rd in the Horticulture Identification contest and 3rd in the state display contest. I'm even more excited to say that I individually placed 1st in the Horticulture Identification contest!
- Author: Fiona Reyes
- Author: Ethan Auyeung
- Author: Megna Nayar
For the second year in a row, the Computer Science Pathway Team of the University of California Cooperative Extension's (UCCE) 4-H Youth Development Program of Santa Clara County held an event for National Youth Science Day (NYSD). The team's event took place on Sunday, October 20th at Google's campus in Sunnyvale. The event was open to 4-H'ers and the public. Thirty-five youth participated in this NYSD event.
Each youth participated in three sessions, one for each of the Game Changers computer science activities created by Google and West Virginia Extension Service for NYSD. The activities were a mix of unplugged and plugged activities that involved running around playing games, completing puzzles, working with others, sharing your passions, and more. The teens from the Computer Science Pathway team had a big part in organizing the event and taught all sessions. They were assisted by the UCCE Santa Clara County 4-H Youth Development office, adult volunteers, and Google volunteers.
Fiona Reyes (17) and Omar Khan (13) led the session for Hack Your Harvest, an unplugged activity with connections to agriculture that involves learning about efficiency and programming through puzzles.
Ethan Auyeung (16) led the session on an activity called Pitch your Passion that focused on teaching participants how to advocate for their passions with the help of computer science. This was a plugged activity where children experimented with Scratch, an online program where users are introduced to the world of coding.
Megna Nayar (14) led the Program Your Playground activity where youth learned about the computational thinking concept of conditionals, statements that include “if”, “then”, and “else” and are used in real life and in computer programming to answer a question. Next, youth participants worked in teams to create their own versions of conditional tag and learned how computer science can help youth be more active and healthier and be fun.
Participants received a “raffle ticket” throughout the event for participating or helping. At the end of the event, everyone gathered for raffle prizes and reflection. Many youth participants said that this event helped them realize that computer science wasn't just about sitting behind a computer and that it could be applied to many things. One young girl shared “I learned that computer science is not just typing on a computer.” Youth also expressed an interest in expanding their knowledge on computer science and Scratch. One boy shared “I like to program engineer stuff,” and another young girl stated; “I learned how to use Scratch. It is really fun!” Some youth were even interested in beginning their own projects at their 4-H clubs.
It was great for the Santa Clara County CS Pathway Team to hear all the positive feedback because that was one of the main goals of the event: to give youth exposure to computer science and to show its connections to the real world!
Many youth participants said that this event helped them realize that computer science wasn't just about sitting behind a computer and that it could be applied to many things.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 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 email@example.com.