|4-H'ers concentrate on the project as they participate in the fifth annual 4-H National Youth Science Day (NYSD). Contributed photo.|
St. Johns County 4-H youth joined millions of young people across the nation to become scientists for the day during the fifth 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 participated in the 4-H Eco-Bot Challenge: the 2012 National Science Experiment.
Designed by The Ohio State University Extension, this year’s experiment introduced youth to robotic engineering concepts as they program an autonomous robot to clean up a simulated environmental spill. The 4-H Eco-Bot Challenge demonstrated that by utilizing engineering principles, youth can have a positive impact on communities and ecosystems.
St Johns County 4-H’ers enhanced their engineering skills by assembling their own Eco-Bots and surface controls to manage an environmental clean-up. Youth then tested the interaction between the Eco-Bot’s design features and various surface control configurations to determine the most effective clean-up solution for the simulated spill.
“Our nation is falling behind other countries in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math,” said Geralyn Sachs, 4-H extension agent for St. Johns County. “However, participation in high-quality positive youth development programs like 4-H NYSD 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.”
The University of Florida/IFAS/St. Johns County 4-H Program took part in the 4-H National Science Day Oct. 6 at the Extension Office Home and Garden Show. Morning and afternoon sessions were available for 4-H youth to take the Eco Bot Challenge, with 10 youth participating.
Sessions were lead by Sachs and St. Johns County 4-H youth leaders Jared Smith and Sarah Colee. When asked if National Youth Science Day has made you more interested in science, one youth participant reported “It taught me science doesn’t always come in (from) a textbook.”
When asked how do you think you might be able to use what you learned through this experiment elsewhere in your life, one youth reported “Team work and idea expressing is used in a lot of jobs.”
This year’s 4-H National Youth Science Day was jointly sponsored by Toyota, Lockheed Martin, Donaldson and John Deere.
via St. Augustine.com