4-H Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)
Nevada has chosen to adopt STEM programs to include Math working within the framework of the SET (Science, Engineering and Technology) Mission Mandate from USDA.
4-H STEM was developed for youth to increase their skills in science, technology, engineering, and math. The United States currently has a shortage of youth who are skilled in science, technology, engineering, and math.
- Only 18 percent of high school seniors are considered proficient in science (NAEP 2000)
- Only 5 percent of college undergraduates earn degrees in science and engineering ("Rising Above the Gathering Storm" 2006)
Currently, 4-H STEM activities reach 5.9 million youth* with hands-on learning experiences that foster exploration, discovery and passion for the sciences. The nation will face a shortage in the workforce of the science, technology, engineering, and math fields unless youth are encouraged to excel in these programs.
Nevada 4-H STEM has implemented multiple programs such as the Department of Energy, Community Readiness Network, New Faces New Places, and Rockets Away to teach youth the importance of science, technology, engineering and math.
*Data from 2005 4-H Youth Development ES-237 Statistics published by National 4-H Headquarters, USDA. Youth in 4-H often participate in more than one project.
STEM Programs in Nevada
Department of Energy
The Department of Energy program has partnered with the U.S. Department of Energy, National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (NASULGC), and the National 4-H Council's 4-H Afterschool program.
The project partnership of NASULGC/EERE/DOE, with curricula materials developed in collaboration with the National Energy Education Department (NEED) and the 4-H Youth Development Program meet a national 4-H mission mandate in the area of improving science skills and knowledge. This project provides engaging and challenging science activities for youth of all ages through hands-on learning opportunities. Science skills are increasingly important for youth, regardless of geography or demographics.
The main themes are the awareness of renewable energy efficiency, doing more with less and the aim for energy education in every lesson of Light & Lighting and Heat & Heating.
Community Readiness Network
The Community Readiness Network provides rapid response in times of emergency and provides much-needed improvements in reconnecting disconnected communities in non-emergency times.
Some programs included with the Community Readiness Network are GPS/GIS, Alert, Evacuate, and Shelter (AES), and Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN).
The first community service project with the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC), with assistance from the Churchill County Planning Office, will be setting up an online computer map for the county volunteer fire department. This will save precious response time for the firemen since they won't have to drive to the fire department to get a map before responding to the fire. They will be able to pull up the map of hydrants directly on a laptop. Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) has also asked the assistance from the 4-H youth in formulating an emergency evacuation and shelter plan for companion pets. We also do community education as we promote Personal Emergency Planning by handing out information and displaying emergency backpacks.
New Faces, New Places Program
Exploring 4-H is a 12-week Educational Experiential Learning program (learning by doing) in animal science, plant science, arts and crafts, health and fitness and technology. This experience provides educational opportunities for youth and adults, with no prior 4-H experience, to work in partnership as they develop life skills such as: positive self-concept; inquiring mind; healthy interpersonal relationships; sound decision making and to allow youth to become healthy, self-directing, contributing members of society. The 4-H staff, area specialist and community-based instructors plan to accomplish this through a set series of educational programs in physical science, arts and crafts, aerospace and technology, using different delivery models: community clubs, community centers, and after-school programs. The New Faces New Places model encourages the graduates of this 12 week experience to transition into existing 4-H clubs, or to start new 4-H clubs as they continue to build life-long skills in a group or community club setting.
Rockets, Robots and GPS/GIS
This program is an expansion of the New Faces, New Places Program, and the goals are:
- To give graduating youth an opportunity to expand their skills and interest in the areas of Rocketry, Robotics and GPS/GIS technology.
- To help targeted youth gain an appreciation for and experience with today's high tech electronics.
- To expose targeted youth to the possible career choices in the aerospace, engineering and technology fields.
Marilyn Smith, Area 4-H Youth Development Specialist, State 4-H STEM/SET Liaison