Special 4-H Summer Camps introduce young people to science, engineering, technology

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4-H students learn to build robots out of LEGOs then take part in competitions. (Photo by Edwin Remsberg.)
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4-H education enhances science and math competitiveness for Oregon’s future

America faces a future of intense global competition with a startling shortage of scientists. National education statistics indicate only 18 percent of U.S. high school seniors are proficient in science, which is a strong indication that young people are not prepared with the necessary science skills to compete in the 21st century workforce.

In response, the OSU Extension Service 4-H programs are emphasizing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) in 4-H learning activities for youth throughout the state.  In 4-H where kids learn by doing, positive experiences in the sciences during the developmental years help open doors to science-related careers later in life. One especially effective 4-H delivery format for SET 4-H activities is the summer science camp. In Washington County, Extension 4-H program field faculty organized and launched the Super Science Camp. The five-day residential summer science camp provides a variety of hands-on experiences designed to inspire and engage youth as they participate in a range of activities exploring topics such as wildlife habitat, astronomy, GIS technology, Lego robotics and more. Recent surveys of Oregon 4-H summer camps indicate a majority of camp participants: 1) learn new things about science at the camps, and 2) increased their interest in science because of attending the camp.

Contact: Pat Willis

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