Members of 4-H in all 55 counties will travel around the state by way of online learning tools that will teach them about geography and their communities on Oct. 9.
National Science Day is the focal point of year-round 4-H Science programming. During this coordinated, nationwide learning experience, 6.5 million 4-H youth from more than 100 land grant colleges and universities participate at the same time.
Maps & Apps, this year’s National 4-H Science Experiment, teaches members firsthand how pairing technology with geography allows communities to make smart decisions that improve lives while valuing the environment and making a positive change.
In this year’s experiment, youth will form teams and put geography to work by using geospatial education and knowledge. The experiment involves the planning and design of a recreational park that benefits their local community.
“The National 4-H Science Experiment brings together 4-H’ers not just around the country, but also across West Virginia, to take part in the learning and fun,” said Jen Robertson-Honecker, WVU Extension Service’s STEM specialist.
STEM is a science, technology, engineering and math based learning program offered through WVU Extension Service. The program is geared toward making youth more proficient in a broad range of math and science related fields, allowing them to prepare for future related education and career paths.
“This experiment is a great team building and collaboration exercise for youth,” Robertson-Honecker said. “Groups work together to plan their design and are then challenged to think critically and creatively to solve ‘real world’ problems that confront it.”
Robertson-Honecker will add to the National 4-H Science Experiment by adding a Mountain State twist for 4-H’ers in West Virginia.
In West Virginia, the activity will show young people the significance of natural resources, economical and historic landmarks, as well as the important role they have in the state.
Using Google Earth as a guide to learn and locate landmarks around the state, youth will find and learn more about places like Milan Puskar Stadium in Morgantown, to Black Water Falls in Davis, W.Va.
Youth will also learn about the different types of mountains and mountain ranges that make West Virginia “the mountain state.”
“Many people know that West Virginia is nicknamed the Mountain State, but what they don’t know is what type of mountains we have and how they formed,” Robertson-Honecker said.
“4-H members will learn the scientific reasoning for our state’s landscape in addition to the familiar, traditional lore.”
Other locations that West Virginia 4-H’ers will locate and learn about include John Brown’s Fort in Harpers Ferry and the Radio Telescope in Green Bank, W.Va.
“With this technology-based activity, I hope to educate youth on the economic, historic and scientifically important landmarks and locations across our state all the while creating a fun-filled, learning experience,” Robertson-Honecker said.
For more than a century, 4-H has focused on agricultural science, electricity, mechanics, entrepreneurship and natural sciences. Today, 4-H out-of-school opportunities also exist in subjects like rocketry, robotics, biofuels, renewable energy and computer science.
To learn more about new opportunities in the 4-H program, visit http://www.ext.wvu.edu/.
CONTACT: Cassie Waugh, WVU Extension
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