This annual event seeks to spark an early youth interest in science and future science careers, and to reclaim the nation’s position of leadership in scientific exploration. As part of 4-H NYSD, a few Floyd County youth participated in the 4-H Eco-Bot Challenge: the 2012 National Science Experiment at the Floyd County Extension Office.
4-H’ers learned to enhance their engineering skills by assembling their own Eco-Bots and surface controls to manage an environmental clean-up. Youth then tested the interaction between the Eco-Bot’s design features and various surface control configurations to determine the most effective clean-up solution for the simulated spill.
Designed by The Ohio State University Extension, this year’s experiment introduced youth to robotic engineering concepts as they program a robot to clean up a simulated environmental spill. The 4-H Eco-Bot Challenge will demonstrated that by utilizing engineering principles, youth can have a positive impact on communities and ecosystems.
“Our nation is falling behind other countries in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math,” said Donald T. Floyd Jr., president and CEO of National 4-H Council. “However, participation in high-quality positive youth development programs like 4-H NYSD offers youth and adult mentors the opportunity to engage together in exciting, hands-on scientific exploration in order to build the next generation of scientists, engineers and mathematicians.”
Research has shown that participation in 4-H programs like 4-H NYSD makes a positive difference in the lives of youth. Youth development scholar, Richard Lerner, works with researchers at the Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development at Tufts University to conduct The 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development.
The longitudinal study has found that, when compared to other youth, young people involved in 4-H are:
* Two times more likely to get better grades in school;
* Two times more likely to plan to go to college;
* Nearly three times more likely to participate in science, engineering, or computer technology programs, and;
* Three times more likely to make positive contributions to their families and communities.
Overall, the study found that the advantages of 4-H participation include higher educational achievement and higher motivation for future education.