- 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: Suzanne Morikawa
In honor of National Volunteer Week this week, we want to highlight two of our volunteers who have been recognized for their service to 4-H. Paulette Sauln from San Diego County has been named the Outstanding Lifetime Volunteer and Curtis Ullerich from Santa Clara County has been named the Volunteer of the Year for the Western Region.
Salute to Excellence Awards
Each year, state 4‑H programs nominate two outstanding individual volunteers through the 4‑H Salute to Excellence Awards, which recognizes 4-H volunteers who demonstrate exemplary service to 4-H.
Each Cooperative Extension Region (Northeast, South, North Central, West) names its own Outstanding Lifetime Volunteer and Volunteer of the Year. The regional honorees become nominees for the national award, and one candidate in each category will be named the national Honoree later this month.
Paulette Sauln, 2017 Outstanding Lifetime Volunteer Award, Western Region
The Outstanding Lifetime Volunteer Award is given to an individual who has spent 10 or more years as a 4‑H volunteer. Paulette Sauln has been a 4-H volunteer in California for 29 years. During that time she has touched the lives of many 4-H members, leaders, alumni and future 4-Hers.
Curtis Ullerich, 2017 Volunteer of the Year Award, Western Region
The Volunteer of the Year Award is given to an individual who has volunteered for 4‑H less than 10 years. Curtis has been a volunteer in California for two years, coming from Iowa where he was a 4-H youth and collegiate member. In the short time he has been with California 4-H, he has become an integral adult volunteer of 4-H through club, county, state and national activities.
Learn more about our honorees!
Both Paulette and Curtis have so many accomplishments, we will be highlighting them in separate posts this week. We want to share all the ways they have contributed to 4-H, which won't fit in just one blog post! Please join us in congratulating these two outstanding individuals and showing them appreciation for all they do for 4-H in California./h2>/h3>/h3>/h2>
- Author: Suzanne Morikawa
Curtis has been a volunteer in California for two years, coming from Iowa where he was a 4-H youth and collegiate member. In the short time he has been with California 4-H, he has become an integral adult volunteer of 4-H through club, county, state and national activities.
Working at all levels of 4-H
Curtis works with youth at all levels of the organization. As a project leader, Curtis helps young people master citizen-science skills and video production. At the county level, he is the All Star/County Ambassador Advisor.
At the state level, Curtis is currently the Chair of the 4-H State Management Board, the volunteer management organization of California 4-H. During this first year of the State Management Board, he has transitioned from Vice-chair to Chair when the original Chair had to step down for personal reasons. His leadership of the board has moved it forward to define itself and establish open communications with the 4-H community.
In addition to his large role on the State Management Board, Curtis is a team leader on the Education Technology Advisory Committee, which supports statewide events with A/V needs, live streaming, photography and video.
At the national level, Curtis was selected to serve as the California 4-H delegation mentor for the National 4-H GIS/GPS Leadership Team.
Positive interactions with youth
One of the first things people learn about Curtis is his focus on helping young people to have positive experiences. His youth-adult partnership skills are exemplars for other volunteers. Curtis creates opportunities to have youth voices heard by creating safe openings for them to express their opinions. By posing questions that start with phrases such as, “I wonder if…”, he opens the door for other opinions and engagement. His approach with youth is to trust them to make good decisions and to help them reflect on what is important to them. His mentorship approach makes youth feel valued and engaged.
No matter what role Curtis is serving in, he consistently focuses on the youth experience and how to engage youth in the conversation. When there are youth at the table, Curtis is the first one to ask their opinion and draw out their involvement if needed.
Salute to Excellence Awards
As a regional honoree, Curtis is also one of four nominees for the National 4-H Volunteer of the Year Award. The 4‑H Salute to Excellence Awards recognizes 4-H volunteers who demonstrate exemplary service to 4-H.
Local 4-H Roles:
- Club enrollment coordinator (2 years)
- Project Leader for STEM and Video Production (2 years)
- All Star/County Ambassador Advisor (2 years) All Star/County Ambassadors is the highest working honor for youth at the county level
- Campfire Advisor for camp (1 year)
State/ Regional Roles:
- Chair, State 4-H Management Board (1 year)
- Program Assistant, State Leadership Conference (2 years)
- Team member, Fourleaf task force (1 year) Online Record Book 2.0
- Team Leader, Educational Technology Advisory Committee (2 years)
- Chaperone/presenter/facilitator/evaluator as needed at area and state level events (2 years)
- Mentor, California Delegation, National 4-H GIS/GPS Leadership Team (1 year)
- Golden Clover Award 2016 for Science. Golden Clovers are state level annual awards for youth and volunteers.
- Volunteer of the Year, Homesteader's 4-H Club 2016
Non-4-H Volunteer roles:
- Popcorn Button (community jazz band): founder and leader, see www.popcornbutton.org, 2010 – present
- Santa Clara Big Band: alto sax 2016
- Google Orchestra: trombone 2016
- Stanford Saxophone Choir: alto sax 2015 - present
- Google Mobile Orchestra (computer music ensemble) 2015 - present
- Stanford Wind Ensemble: alto and baritone sax 2015 - present
4-H Youth Involvement:
- Iowa 4-H Youth Council Member
- Delegate to National 4-H Congress
- Mentor, Iowa 4-H Youth Technology Team 2010 - 2013
- Major projects included horse, music, visual arts, and citizenship
- Collegiate 4-H ISU: president, publicity chair, programming chair, webmaster 8/2009 - 12/2013