National 4-H Week celebrates technology

(10/07/19) Baton Rouge, La. — The celebration of National 4-H Week from Oct. 6 to 12 will feature a variety of fun, learning activities for 4-H’ers throughout Louisiana.

Each parish has activities scheduled for each day of the week. And Wednesday, which is designated 4-H National Youth Science Day, will see thousands of youth across the nation taking part in the world’s largest youth-led STEM challenge.

Toby Lepley, LSU AgCenter associate vice president and 4-H program leader, said National 4-H Week highlights how 4-H encourages youth to take part in hands-on learning experiences in areas such as health, science, agriculture and civic engagement.

“The theme for this year’s celebration is Game Changers, which will run through the month of October. The program was developed by Google and the West Virginia University Extension Service,” Lepley said.

Game Changers will teach the students coding skills through fun exercises including gaming, puzzles and physical activity.

“Here in Louisiana, we provide every parish at least one Game Changer kit for this project,” he said.

Lepley said this is more than just a project for the students to sit in front of a computer and design something, but also to get up and perform some physical activity.

Each parish will have a different program related to the project. Some will even expand the project to the schools and the community, he said.

“One of the first 4-H National Youth Science Days was geared toward GIS and GPS,” Lepley said. “Then we did one on aerospace during the space shuttle years where we made rockets using plastic bottles.”

Since then, projects have included drones, and now the project deals with computer coding that looks at what makes the buttons work on that smart phone and other electronics.

STEM is still a hot topic and an engaging topic for young people, Lepley said.

“When we think of STEM, which is science, technology, engineering and mathematics, it’s more than your chemistry or biology class,” he said. “It’s also about clothing and textiles and how do those fabrics intertwine to create the softest fabric.”

In East Baton Rouge Parish, 4-H members in fifth through eighth grades at Impact Charter School in Baker got to fly drones as part of their National 4-H Week activities.

East Baton Rouge 4-H agent Jessie Hayden said the activity was designed to reinforce the STEM lessons being taught at the school.

“The lesson they are learning about drones represent the technology part of STEM,” he said.

During the session at the school, Fran Harvey, of Global Geospatial Solutions, and her team discussed the many uses for drones and gave the students lessons on how to fly them safely.

In addition to activities for young people, National 4-H Week also will honor adults who have made outstanding contributions to 4-H. Ruby Miller, a retired 4-H agent from Cameron Parish, will be inducted into the National 4-H Hall of Fame Friday, Oct. 11, in Chevy Chase, Maryland,where National 4-H Council is located.

Miller and 19 others from across the country will be inducted. Lepley said it’s fairly common for Louisiana to have an inductee each year.

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Fran Harvey, of Global Geospatial Solutions, gives drone flying instructions to 4-H’ers at Impact Charter School in Baker as part of National 4-H Week, which is Oct. 6 to 12. Photo by Johnny Morgan/LSU AgCenter

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Students take turns flying a drone during National 4-H Week at Impact Charter School in Baker. Fran Harvey, of Global Geospatial Solutions, brought the drones as a way to enhance the STEM lessons being taught at the school. Photo by Johnny Morgan/LSU AgCenter

10/7/2019 9:39:25 PM
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