West Virginia University Extension Service’s 4-H program will help young people send “rockets to the rescue” as part of the world’s largest youth-led science experiment.

4-H National Youth Science Day will take place Wednesday (Oct. 8) as part of National 4-H Week. Youth will conduct the experiment throughout the month of October and during the upcoming 4-H year at camps, events and more.

The interactive experiment encourages participation, education and awareness of science, technology, engineering and math activities and opportunities for youth across the nation.

“Our 4-H STEM programs help get young people excited about science and show them how it can be applied in real-world situations,” said Jen Robertson-Honecker, a WVU Extension Service’s STEM specialist.

According to statistics from the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, STEM education and careers are falling short in the United States. 4-H National Youth Science Day allows young people to get involved and become inspired by science.

National Youth Science Day experiments will occur in West Virginia throughout the month. Robertson-Honecker said giving students the opportunity to experience science firsthand is sometimes all it takes to change their whole perception of the subject.

“They learn how science can be fun, interesting and rewarding,” she said. “This can eventually lead them to choose STEM-related college majors and careers paths.”

Another objective of 4-H National Youth Science Day is to show youth how STEM-related careers can benefit society.

This year’s experiment focuses on rocket science and aerospace. Youth will design and build a rocket in response to a fictional scenario in which a natural disaster has left people without food on a Pacific island. They will have to respond by creating and launching a rocket that will deliver food to the island population.

“This experiment combines science and food security, two significantly relevant topics of the modern-day world,”Robertson-Honecker said. “Youths will get a better understanding of how science works and how it can positively impact people’s lives while learning about real-world issues.”

This year’s 4-H National Youth Science Day experiment was designed by University of Arizona Cooperative Extension and was selected as the winning experiment to be used for the annual National Youth Science Day.

For more information about 4-H National Youth Science Day and the National Youth Science Day experiment, contact a local office of the WVU Extension Service or visit www.ext.wvu.edu.

National sponsors of the 2014 4-H National Youth Science Day include Lockheed Martin, HughesNet Satellite Internet and John Deere. Other partners include Dow AgroSciences, NBC Learn, Afterschool Alliance and NASA.

For 100 years, WVU Extension Service has helped make the lives of young people better through 4-H youth development programs. WVU Extension Service, as part of WVU and its land-grant mission, continues to provide educational opportunities that allow for the growth and development of youths in all 55 counties of West Virginia.



CONTACT: Cassie Thomas, WVU Extension Service
304.293.9735, Cassie.Thomas@mail.wvu.edu.

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