- (Focus Area) 4-H
- 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: Serenity Ventura O'Reilly
State Field Day was held at the University of California Davis in Davis, California the first weekend of June. It was a ton of fun and everyone should go at least once. There was so much to see and do there. I qualified to go to State Field Day because I won two gold medals at the San Diego County Art & Design Day for Fashion Revue. For State Fashion Revue, I chose to enter my retro outfit. Did you know that you can qualify to go to state if you receive a gold for presentations too?
My family drove the seven-and-a-half hours each way, but we stopped for snacks and got breakfast on the way. I didn't know how many farms there were between here and Davis. After we got to our hotel the day before, we went sightseeing. We went to one of the art museums, the California Raptor Center, and some of the gardens on campus. I loved going to the Raptor Center because we not only got to see the owls, red tailed hawks, Harris's hawks, peregrine falcons, bald eagles, and other raptors, but different types of bird's eggs, skeletons, and we found out so much about them. I wanted to go to the Underground Museum Tour in Sacramento, but we didn't have time.
On State Field Day
On the morning of State Field Day, I checked in and then went to orientation. There were two orientations for State Fashion Revue—one for families and one for the participants. I then attended four different workshops and activities while I waited for my turn to be judged: a poise workshop with pageant winners, a sewing skillathon, a Maker workshop, and a dog toy community service project. The Maker workshop was my favorite because it let me express my creativity.
Before I could be judged I had to get dressed in the outfit I made, do my hair, and put my makeup on. Then I had to line up with the other 4-H'ers in my group and head upstairs. Our families stayed downstairs while we went to judging. When we entered, the judges had us model our clothes, tell them about our outfit, and then they asked a few questions. Afterwards, I got to head over to the rest of the Field Day activities before the State Fashion Revue modeling and awards.
There were so many activities going on at Field Day. There was a welding workshop, 3-D printing booth, a fire safety booth, UC California Naturalists booth, a film festival, an entomology knowledge bowl, police dog demonstration, logo contest, food trucks, and so much more. At the fire safety booth, they taught you how to use a real fire extinguisher to extinguish a fire. You used the fire extinguisher to spray water onto a special screen that had a fake fire on it; The fake fire would get smaller as you sprayed it correctly. You could try it several times until you got it right. I really liked it because it was fun and you learned a good life skill to have in an emergency.
Time for the runway!
After I checked out all the activities I had to model on the runway for State Fashion Revue. The runway was in the middle of the quad where everyone could see me and I admit, I was a little nervous because I thought that I would mess up but in the end I did well and got a blue ribbon. Next year I am going to try for gold!
I was able to go to Davis for the State Field Day because I received a scholarship from the San Diego County volunteer management board. To earn a scholarship, you need to help out at county fundraisers (so there is money to help kids go to events), fill out a form, make a request at a board meeting (I was really sick when the board met so my mom took my paperwork, speech, and notes and the board let her present it), and give a presentation when you get back. It's really easy!
I am going to work hard and try to go back to Davis for State Field Day and I hope to see more 4-H'ers from San Diego next year.
UC ANR Risk Services hosted the popular Fire Safety booth. The date for State Field Day 2020 has not been announced yet, but it will be held at UC Davis on a Saturday in late May/early June. The State Fashion Revue event page lists the 2020 service projects and categories, as well as qualification information to participate.
- Author: Jada Ho
- Author: TJ Suit
- Author: Rose Fiorenza
- Author: Addyson Rubin
REPOST - updated 9/23/2019
We asked teens who attended the 2017 Mindfulness Retreat: "What were the highlights of the Mindfulness Retreat for you? What did you learn from the retreat that would be useful for teens?"
Jada: The mindfulness retreat was refreshing for me to be able to worry about nothing but the present. I loved the morning yoga and and making collages. This weekend reminded me that I should stop and take a total break from everything more often, and that I don't have to constantly be accomplishing something. I learned that visualizing things, like the glitter in a moody jar, when I meditate or practice mindfulness helps me to focus.
TJ: Given the opportunity to focus on myself and the present for a weekend with no worries about the future was an amazing experience. I spent time learning more about myself, learning about others, and learning mindful tools to help me get through my everyday life. From meditating on the beach, tons of arts and crafts, hilarious skits, and meeting new friends, it was an experience I will remember for a very long time!
Rose: The mindfulness retreat was an enlightening experience that impacted me in so many ways. With all my college applications due, I've been extremely busy and extremely stressed. The retreat really opened my eyes to the impact that stress can make on my social, mental and emotional health. I was able to leave the retreat with mindfulness strategies that I now use to help me relieve stress, such as collaging, deep breathing, and journaling.
Addy: The mindfulness retreat was a great weekend for stressed teens and adults. It gave everyone some time to step back and live in the moment instead of being obsessed with future plans and responsibilities. The retreat provided everyone with helpful tools that will keep you on track, and keep your stress levels down. This retreat really opened my eyes to what meditation and mindful breathing is capable of and I now use these techniques as a daily stress reliever. This was an unforgettable experience that I would highly recommend people of all ages.
Join us this year!
November 1-3, 2019
Camp Ocean Pines, Cambria, CA
A 4-H Healthy Living Program for youth age 13-19 and adults
Register online - Deadline is October 1, 2019
See our Event Calendar posting for more information.
The California 4-H Foundation is proud to recognize Mary Lash for her lifelong dedication to the 4-H program. Mary's 4-H membership began in 1938 with projects including home economics, sewing and raising vegetables on her family farm in Downey, California. In 1928, Mary's father became a 4-H leader and her older brother a 4-H member as well, making for a strong family commitment to 4-H values. In 2013, Mary received the Western Region 4-H Salute to Excellence Volunteer of the year award for her many contributions to California 4-H.
Today Mary continues to be an active member of the Greenleaf 4-H program and Treasurer for the Los Angeles County 4-H Leaders' Council. Mary's passion to advance the mission of 4-H one member at a time has been inspirational for those around her. It is through the work from volunteers like Mary that California 4-H has been successful for generations of members.