4-H Youth Development

Nevada youth explore drones in world’s largest youth-led STEM challenge

Posted 9/29/2016

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4-Hers shoot off rockets they built in a past 4-H National Youth Science Day activity held on the University of Nevada, Reno campus. Photo by Theresa Danna-Douglas.

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension 4-H program offers hands-on learning to local youth

Over the next week, as part of National 4-H Week, youth in Nevada will join over 100,000 youth across the world in leading the ninth annual 4-H National Youth Science Day challenge. This year’s challenge, called Drone Discovery, introduces youth to the burgeoning field of drones in a hands-on, interactive design challenge. Youth will build an airplane out of foam, attach a keychain camera to it, collect data, and then download and analyze the data.

The exercise teaches youth a wide variety of topics related to unmanned flight, including flight dynamics, aircraft types, safety and regulations, remote sensing, and flight control. Designed by Cornell University Cooperative Extension, the hands-on, three-part engineering design challenge will allow youth to experiment with fixed and rotary wing designs, explore the concept of remote sensing and dive into the world of coding for real-world drone applications.

Here in Nevada, 4-H is a program of University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, which is hosting the challenge at several locations, as well as sponsoring other activities to celebrate National 4-H Week.

“This challenge is an opportunity to show our communities the types of learn-by-doing activities that our 4-H programs provide for youth,” said Carrie Stark, Nevada 4-H Program Director with University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. “There are so many different 4-H programs, including 4-H Clubs and activities that are tailored to youth’s various interests, and now is a great time to get involved.”

Stark said that a study conducted by Tufts University shows that 4-H youth are at least two times more likely (and in some cases four times more likely) to participate in science programs, plan to go to college, contribute to their communities, be physically active and make healthier choices.

4-H this week in Reno:
At 3 p.m., Oct. 5, four 4-H youth are leading the Drone Discovery challenge with the help of a 4-H leader working with youth from the Reno Housing Authority facilities at Essex Manor, 7760 Carlyle Drive in Golden Valley.

4-H this week in Carson City:
At 10 a.m., Oct. 1, youth are welcome to participate in the Drone Discovery challenge at the Carson City Extension office, 2621 Northgate Lane, Suite 15. The event is free, and those not wishing to participate are welcome to observe. On Oct. 5, 8:30 a.m. — 6 p.m., the Carson City Cooperative Extension office is hosting a 4-H Open House and Fun Day. The day’s activities, such as a photo booth, cookie decorating, a prize wheel and more, are free. Information will be available on the various 4-H activities available to youth in Carson City.

4-H this week in Southern Nye County:
At 2 p.m., Oct. 16, youth are welcome to participate in the Drone Discovery challenge at the 4-H Annex Building at the Cooperative Extension office in Pahrump, 1651 E. Calvada Blvd. The event is free and open to the public but preregistration is required. Everyone is welcome to observe.

4-H this week in White Pine County:
At 10 a.m., Oct. 7, youth are welcome to participate in the Drone Discovery challenge at the White Pine County Library Conference Room, 950 Campton St. in Ely. The event is free, and those not wishing to participate are welcome to observe.

4-H this week in the Clark County:
At 4 p.m., Oct. 12, youth are welcome to participate in the Drone Discovery challenge at Ruben P. Diaz Elementary School, 4450 E. Owens Ave. in Las Vegas. The event is free and open to the public.

4-H this week in the nation:
National 4-H Council will host the flagship national 4-H National Youth Science Day event, with hundreds of youth participating in the challenge on Oct. 5 in Washington, D.C. The 2016 national partners are HughesNet®, Lockheed Martin and U.S. Cellular. DJI, the world’s largest maker of consumer drones, is the national sponsor.

To find out more about 4-H or how your county is celebrating National 4-H Week and 4-H National Youth Science Day, contact your county’s University of Nevada Cooperative Extension office. For office locations and phone numbers, go to Cooperative Extension’s website or call 775-784-7070.

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