4-H Curriculum is low-cost, often free, based on research in effective teaching and learning, and shown to be effective. Find curriculum at:
4-H STEM Series (2018)
Designed for 4th through 8th grade students.
Engineering (Tinkering) [6-8th grade]
Youth will plan and design a vehicle to maximize its ability to coast down a ramp. They will experiment with the materials to learn about wheels, axles, and friction.
Make a Flashlight or Lantern (basic circuits)
Youth will learn about the basics of goal management by engaging in engineering design through building a flashlight.
Motors, Gears, and Wheels
Youth will assemble and test gear sets to determine the direction of rotation and gear ratios. By adding a small toy motor, youth will have the gear train drive itself.
Automobiles: Es-Car Go
Youth will combine what they’ve learned in the previous three activities by planning, designing, and building a rover/automobile with a motor and gear that can move under its own power and climb a ramp.
Drone Discovery is a hands-on engineering design challenge that explores the science behind drones and how they are being used to solve real world problems. Youth will learn everything from flight dynamics and aircraft types, to safety and regulations, to remote sensing and flight control.
The challenge has youth working together as an engineering team to build a functioning health monitor using a small computer and low cost sensors.
Physics and Chemistry [6-8th grade]
An engineering challenge to design ski jumps and roller coasters using marbles and foam pipe insulation. Youth will create a series of tracks involving a ball rolling through a series of twists and turns. Youth will learn about forces of motion, momentum.
Participants will apply lessons in science, math and physics to design and build an aerodynamic paper rocket that can deliver a payload to a desired target using different trajectories.
- Activity Instructions: Paper Rockets
- (Alternate Instructions: NYSD-Rockets-to-the-Rescue-Facilitator-Guide-Color & NYSD-Rockets-to-the-Rescue-Youth-Guide-Color )
4-H2O (Climate Change)
Youth learn how heightened levels of carbon dioxide can affect aquatic animals, plants and other living organisms in lakes, streams, rivers and oceans.
- Activity Instructions: 4 H2O Leader Guide
- (Alternate Instructions: 4 H2O Facilitator Guide & 4 H2O Youth Guide)
- Supplemental: Footprint
Youth work together as a team to design a basic blueprint for the construction of a bridge. After the team has designed and sketched their bridge, they will use the materials and implements provided to physically build it.
Hot Air Balloons
Adapted from Community Science Workshop
Youth build a hot air balloon using just a few sheets of tissue paper and a hair dryer. Use this activity to demonstrate how hot air rises due to density and how the volume of gas increases with temperature.