SOURCE: National 4-H Council

National 4-H Council

October 04, 2011 09:00 ET

Kids Build Wind Energy Technologies on 4-H National Youth Science Day

4-H Leads the Nation in Generating Youth Interest in Science Education and Careers

CHEVY CHASE, MD--(Marketwire - Oct 4, 2011) - Today, millions of young people across the nation will become scientists for the day during the fourth annual 4-H National Youth Science Day (NYSD). 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, youth will participate in Wired for Wind: the 2011 National Science Experiment.

Designed by the University of Nebraska - Lincoln Extension and working in partnership with KidWind, the 2011 National Science Experiment will demonstrate how young people can implement alternatives to traditional energy production and have a positive impact on their communities and ecosystems.

4-H youth will enhance their engineering skills by designing, building and testing two different wind turbine models. Wired for Wind will also help young people relate their scientific experiences back to their own lives as they determine the best location for a wind farm in their state or local area by calculating wind power and studying wind data and maps. To combat a national shortage of young people pursuing science college majors and occupations, and to enhance the nation's contribution to the sciences, 4-H National Youth Science Day demonstrates that science, engineering, math and technology are fun and attainable options for college degrees and future careers. Currently, more than five million young people across the nation participate in 4-H science, engineering, technology and applied math year-long programming. Through the One Million New Scientists, One Million New Ideas campaign, 4-H is working toward a bold goal to engage one million new young people in science, engineering, technology and applied math programs by the year 2013.

"Our nation is falling behind other countries in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math," said Donald T. Floyd, Jr., National 4-H Council president and CEO. "Participation in 4-H NYSD and other year-round 4-H science programming offers youth and adults the opportunity to engage in scientific exploration and work together to build the next generation of our nation's 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, Dr. 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.

As part of the Cooperative Extension System of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and implemented by the nation's 111 land-grant colleges and universities, 4-H has been educating youth in the sciences for more than 100 years. In fact, the land-grant colleges and universities have been deeply involved in environmental research for some time and will showcase their work to inspire youth around the nation on 4-H National Youth Science Day.

4-H's robust, university research-based science curriculum, combined with new initiatives like 4-H National Youth Science Day, will arm young people with the necessary technical skills to help America maintain its competitive edge in the global marketplace.

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About 4-H National Youth Science Day

4-H National Youth Science Day takes place every year during National 4-H Week (this year October 2nd - 8th).

The 2011 4-H National Science Experiment -- Wired for Wind -- was developed by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension program. Generous sponsor support has been provided by Toyota, Motorola, BAE Systems, Fleischmann's Yeast, Wal-Mart, the KidWind Project and the National Science Teachers Association. For more information on 4-H National Youth Science Day, please visit www.4-h.org/nysd. Or, to find a 4-H youth development program near you, go to www.4-H.org.

About 4-H

4-H is a community of six million young people across America learning leadership, citizenship, and life skills. National 4-H Council is the private sector, non-profit partner of 4-H National Headquarters located at the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) within USDA. 4-H programs are implemented by the 111 land-grant colleges and universities and the Cooperative Extension System through their 3,100 local Extension offices across the country. Learn more about 4-H at www.4-H.org or find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/4-H.

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