Building science-ready youth
Michigan youth will be critical thinkers and problem solvers through science-based learning.
Campaign Priority: 4-H Science Literacy
Campaign Goal: $2 million
To help create a future workforce armed with STEM skills, science education is a key focus for Michigan 4-H programs. 4-H engages youth in the experiential inquiry-based learning process that helps build important problem-solving, critical thinking and decision-making skills.
After participating in 4-H science programming of three hours or more, participants showed significant increases in their attitudes and aspirations toward science, their interest and engagement in science, and their ability to demonstrate responsibility, critical thinking and problem-solving skills. This indicates that, because of 4-H STEM activities, youth are not only more likely to recognize the relevance of science and see themselves pursuing related careers but also more equipped with the cutting-edge STEM skills in high demand.
- 4-H youth explored science, engineering and technology through 262,000 4-H experiences in fields such as biological sciences, environmental sciences, rocketry, mechanics, consumer sciences, renewable energy, computer sciences, robotics, animal sciences and plant sciences.
- 2,170 kids in southeastern Michigan explored the physical, chemical, cultural and biological dimensions of Great Lakes watersheds – specifically, the Detroit River and Lake Erie – through the Great Lakes Education Program.
- 15 state youth researched an environmental issue and presented their recommendations to the Michigan Senate Committee on Natural Resources, Environment and Great Lakes through the Michigan 4-H Youth Conservation Council.
A St. Clair County 4-H Robotics team earned a spot in the world championship competition after finishing first at two district events and winning the Rookie Inspiration Award at the state championships in 2016. St. Clair County 4-H had launched its first robotics program earlier that year and found the program to be in such high demand that it filled three teams of varying ages. Though thrilled with its success, parents and kids in the program found even more benefits of 4-H.
“We are so glad St. Clair County 4-H has brought this new adventure in technology to these kids, who would not otherwise have this opportunity,” said Trevor Korn, a 4-H robotics club volunteer whose 10-year-old son participates in the program. “4-H teaches good life skills for its youth members. There are many new areas of science and STEM that have become a large part of the 4-H program today.”