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Park Rapids sixth graders mixed a solution of Bromythmol Blue and water to identify the level of acidity and learn how CO2 can enter the water cycle. From left are Ellery Overmyer, Tatum Mercer and Logan Johnson. (Anna Erickson / Enterprise_

Local youth learn, lead on climate change

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News Park Rapids,Minnesota 56470
Park Rapids Enterprise
Local youth learn, lead on climate change
Park Rapids Minnesota PO Box 111 56470

Last week fifth and sixth grade Park Rapids area youth joined thousands of young people across the nation to conduct the experiment 4-H2O as part of 4-H National Youth Science Day. 4-H2O is the 2010 National Science Experiment.


The experiment taught youth how carbon dioxide can affect aquatic animals, plants and other living organisms in lakes, streams, rivers and oceans. It featured a series of interactive activities and discussions to demonstrate the importance of water quality and how they can help reduce the carbon footprint in the community.

Mark Haugen, the local 4-H Program Coordinator said, "our goal is to show youth in Hubbard County that science experiments can be fun and easy to understand."

Youth used a bromothymol blue indicator solution to blow into a BMB/water mixture to demonstrate the concept of CO2 gas and students saw how CO2 levels can build-up in water by seeing how the indicator change colors.

They continued the activity by introducing effervescent tablets into plastic sandwich bags in varying quantities to show how that CO2 expands in the earth's atmosphere. The bags represented the earth's ability to capture greenhouse gases. Youth then added the tablets to water to connect back how the BMB shows higher levels of CO2 in the tablet/water mix.

To combat a national shortage of young people pursuing science college majors and careers, 4-H National Youth Science Day has a goal to spark an early youth interest in science education. Currently, more than five million youth across the nation take part in 4-H science, engineering and technology programming.

Through the One Million New Scientists, One Million New Ideas campaign, 4-H has undertaken a goal to engage one million new young people in science, engineering and technology programs by the year 2013.

Youth leaders Hannah Arvik, Amber Booge, Michelle Farlee and Colin Mack taught the 4-H National Science Experiment to all fifth and sixth graders at Park Rapids Century School.