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4-H spring event set to encourage science proficiency

The statewide 4-H leadership team is planning a major event for the Hubbard County community.

Adults and youth leaders interested in this program do not need to be current 4-H members or volunteers. These offerings are not the traditional 4-H experiences but do use the 4-H model of experiential learning. Participants do need to be willing to lead the creation of a local experience with the materials training they receive at the event.

4-H science team spring training sessions

The Minnesota 4-H Science Team is working toward the long-range goal of increasing the science competency level of youth across the state.

The team has identified program outcomes and strategies for 4-H Science. We have identified four areas of focus to concentrate effort in the coming year:

n Robotics (both Lego and Junk Drawer robotics using the National 4-H curriculum)

n Aquatic Robotics (piloting began in 2011)

n Photography/Digital Media (our largest 4-H project area)

n Engineering Design

An integral piece of this work is supporting both paid and volunteer staff who work with young people. Additional information will be shared with 4-H staff in a variety of ways in the coming weeks. One important step toward training volunteers will be a statewide spring 4-H Science Training, offered in three locations around the state. The training will be offered in the four areas of focus: Robotics, Aquatic Robotics, Photography/ Digital Media (with a focus on connecting young people to nature and in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources), and Engineering Design (utilizing engineering design curriculum used in the National Partnership for After School Science "NPASS" project).

The training model for these four categories varies a bit. For the two robotics areas, training teams include two adults and up to five youth (6th grade or older) as youth leaders. For Photography/Digital Media and Engineering Design, training teams are three or four people - two adults and one or two youth leaders (8th grade or older). The training sessions will feature a "train-the-trainer" model involving youth and adult teams who will bring the resources back to their respective county and region to grow the program.

The trainings will be offered in a camp style setting May 4-5 at Northern Pines Assembly Grounds, Park Rapids.

Complete details regarding cost and registration are being finalized. The March 4-H Newsletter will feature an article on the Spring 4-H Science Training.

For more information contact Mark Haugen, University of MN Extension, Hubbard County 4-H Program Coordinator, at 732-3391.