STEM in Virginia 4-H

Image of Wilson GGUG
Wilson GGUG
Image of Mars Base Camp Youth
Mars Base Camp Youth

4‑H programs are available in Virginia through local 4‑H clubs, 4‑H camps, in-school and after-school settings. 4‑H science programs provide 4‑H youth the opportunity to learn about Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) through fun, hands-on activities and projects. Integration of these concepts are key for the most complete understanding of a topic. STEM can be found in a wide variety of 4-H programming and in everyday life. In Virginia 4-H, we strive to incorporate STEM and experiential learning into as many of our activities as possible- enabling our youth to develop important life skills such as critical thinking and problem solving.

Many local Virginia Cooperative Extension agents and specialists have expertise or experience in STEM programming. Several of these agents participate in coordinated programming at the State level to provide professional development opportunities to educators or to execute action plans for new STEM initiatives. As of March 2020, these Virginia Cooperative Extension agents and faculty are currently engaged with the STEM Subteam of the 4-H Positive Youth Development Program Team:

Extension provides the public with research-based information and resources from its land-grant universities. 4-H is a Cooperative Extension program comprised of a community of more than 100 public universities, volunteers, and participating youth. In Virginia, Virginia Tech and Virginia State University are combined as Virginia Cooperative Extension to serve the public. 4-H Extension specialists support 4-H agents statewide, write curriculum, help to develop programming, develop statewide partnerships, and seek funding sources. 4-H agents work to deliver 4-H programming, manage 4-H volunteers, and directly engage with youth in their locality/county. 

How can I help support 4-H or STEM in Virginia?

  1. Are you passionate about STEM and enjoy working with children? Become a 4-H Volunteer! Contact your local Virginia Cooperative Extension office today and see how you can get involved!
  2. Consider forming a partnership with 4-H at the local, state, or National level. Contact your local Virginia Cooperative Extension Office, or speak to a 4-H Specialist at the State Staff level. This is a great chance to showcase what your organization does and how STEM learning is critical!
  3. 4-H is primarily supported through monetary and materials donations. To give monetary donations to 4-H, please donate here. You may choose a local 4-H program or you can choose to support STEM statewide by selecting State Program: VSU 4-H STEAM. The STEM program in Virginia 4-H is housed at Virginia State University (VSU), but funds are used in cooperation with 4-H across the Commonwealth. Monetary donations will receive a thank-you letter from the Virginia Tech Foundation/Virginia 4-H State Staff. Local agents or Specialists can work with you to receive materials donations.

Hey, STEM Specialist! (Internal to Virginia Cooperative Extension 4-H)

Need some help with your programming? Have a suggestion? Want to provide anonymous feedback to the 4-H STEAM Extension Specialist? Click on the hyperlink above for access instructions to the Qualtrics survey.

National 4-H Curriculum Development Resources

https://4-h.org/professionals/curriculum-development/

Professional development and resources for those interested in writing 4-H curriculum. Virginia 4-H/Virginia Cooperative Extension professionals should submit items for review/publication at the state level to Dr. Erika Bonnett.

PYD STEM Overview/STEM Theme Areas

https://ext.vt.edu/4h-youth/stem.html

How to Identify Effective STEM Activities for Children
https://onlinegrad.baylor.edu/resources/identify-effective-stem-activities-children/

Turning the Fog Into STEAM!
Dr. Chantel Wilson teaches how to incorporate science, technology, engineering, agriculture, and math into learning experiences for youth at the V3: Virginia Virtual Volunteer Conference on April 25, 2020.
https://video.vt.edu/media/Turning+the+FOG+Into+STEAM/1_gfgoexuw

Grass, Goats, and Uninvited Guests!
Dr. Chantel Wilson and Dr. Dahlia O’Brien provide an introduction to parasitism in small ruminants (sheep & goats) as background information, followed by an introduction to an exciting new 4-H curriculum!
https://youtu.be/eApjdehYNLY

WARNING: Some website links referenced here are not managed by Virginia Cooperative Extension, and it does not review, control, or take responsibility for the contents of those sites.

National 4-H at Home Activities (STEM/science topics are searchable)
https://4-h.org/about/4-h-at-home/

Virginia 4-H Resources for School Enrichment (Enroll For Site Access!)
https://forms.gle/YNCeKyRgs1dsjNbCA

National 4-H STEM Lab:

https://4-h.org/parents/stem-agriculture/youth-stem-activities/

National 4-H Curriculum and Kits:

https://shop4-h.org/collections/curriculum

Virginia 4-H Curriculum (select 4-H Youth, navigate topics, or search STEM, Science, etc.)

https://resources.ext.vt.edu/

National Agriculture in the Classroom:

https://www.agclassroom.org/student/index.cfm

https://www.agclassroom.org/teacher/

Utah Discover 4-H Clubs/Curriculum:

https://utah4h.org/discover/

Click2Science Professional Development

http://www.click2sciencepd.org/

Teach Engineering

https://www.teachengineering.org/

Science Buddies

https://www.sciencebuddies.org/

Bay Backpack

http://baybackpack.com/

University of California STEM Resource Hub

https://ucanr.edu/sites/STEM/

Purdue Extension/Indiana 4-H

https://extension.purdue.edu/4h/Pages/projects.aspx

Science Museum of Virginia YouTube Channel:

https://www.youtube.com/user/ScienceMuseumVA

Virginia State Parks (Backpack Program-Public Libraries, Free State Park Access)

https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/blog/your-next-visit-to-a-virginia-state-park-could-start-at-the-library

4-H Computer Science Playbook

www.4-h.org/CSplaybook

CS First

https://csfirst.withgoogle.com/s/en/home

Code.org

 www.code.org

 Scratch

scratch.mit.edu

National Science Teacher Association

https://www.nsta.org/

Animal Science Anywhere

https://www.canr.msu.edu/resources/4_h_animal_science_anywhere

Zoonotic Disease Activities

https://www.canr.msu.edu/resources/zoonotic_disease

4-H Afterschool Agriculture

https://4-h.org/parents/curriculum/afterschool-agriculture/

American Farm Bureau Free Resources

https://www.agfoundation.org/free-resources/

My American Farm

http://www.myamericanfarm.org/

EPA Environmental Education for Students

https://www.epa.gov/students

NASA Kids Club

https://www.nasa.gov/kidsclub/index.html

WSU 4-H Learning Links

https://extension.wsu.edu/king/learning-links-4-h-and-more/

Michigan 4-H 84 STEM Lessons You Can Do At Home

https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/84-easy-science-lessons-you-can-do-at-home

Hackerrank (free computer science resource)
https://www.hackerrank.com/

Cybersecurity Challenges at Hackerrank
https://www.hackerrank.com/domains/security

MITRE ATT&CK (Advanced Cybersecurity for High School+)
https://attack.mitre.org/

Cybersecurity Guide and Resources for K-12
https://cybersecurityguide.org/resources/k-12-guide/

STEM Activities & Labs: Cost Effective Activities for Middle & High School Students
http://www.cee.org/tep-lab-bench/pdf/STEM-activities-and-labs.pdf

Discover Your World with NOAA
https://aamboceanservice.blob.core.windows.net/oceanservice-prod/education/activity-book/pdf/NOAA_DYW_2017.pdf

Engineering is Elementary
http://d7.eie.org/eie-curriculum/curriculum-units

American Chemical Society
https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/education/resources/k-8/inquiryinaction.html

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/edu/learn/tag/type/project

Physics Educational Technology Simulations
https://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulations/filter?sort=alpha&view=grid

Science Learning through Engineering Design
https://stemedhub.org/groups/sled/design_resources

Smithsonian Institution Fun Stuff for Kids and Teens
https://www.si.edu/kids

United States Geological Survey Kids
https://www.usgs.gov/science-support/osqi/yes/resources-teachers/zots-frogs-usgs-kids

American Society of Civil Engineers: Just for Fun!
https://www.asceville.org/just_for_fun.html

The Ultimate STEM Guide for Kids: 239 Cool Sites About Science, Technology, Engineering and Math

https://www.mastersindatascience.org/resources/the-ultimate-stem-guide-for-kids-239-cool-sites-about-science-technology-engineering-and-math/

Kids and Coding: Resources for Educators
https://onlinegrad.syracuse.edu/teaching-kids-coding/

Meet the Lab
https://pbswisconsineducation.org/meetthelab/about/

Carolina Biological Teacher Resources
https://www.carolina.com/resources/home.jsp

Bottle Biology
http://bottlebiology.org/

Wisconsin Fast Plants Lessons
https://fastplants.org/lessons/

Game Changineer (create a video game by coding!)
https://gc.ece.vt.edu/

Virginia 4-H Water Science Kits for Kids
https://sites.google.com/vt.edu/water-science-kits-for-kids/home

Mars Base Camp: Explore a hand-on mission to Mars at home, image of contents of box

Send your kids to Mars! The 2020 4‑H STEM Challenge explores sending a mission to Mars with the activity, Mars Base Camp. Developed by Google and Virginia Cooperative Extension, Mars Base Camp is a collection of activities that teaches kids ages 8-14 STEM skills like mechanical engineering, physics, computer science, and agriculture. Use these resources to assist you with Mars Base Camp programming in your community! You will find STEM career videos, "how-to" overview videos for each of the activities, professional development webinars, relevant documents, and links to purchase materials.

For general information from National 4-H regarding the 4-H STEM Challenge, please visit https://4-h.org/parents/4-h-stem-challenge/

Mars Base Camp Facilitator Guides, Youth Guides, and Map Cards, and Mars Map

Activity How-To Videos and STEM Career Videos

4-H STEM Challenge: Mars Base Camp YouTube playlist

Professional Development Webinars:

During this webinar we will unbox the 2020 Mars Basecamp Kit, talk about how the kit works, and introduce marketing resources. We also will talk about how to reach audiences with the kit and introduce new diverse ways to use the kit with the new landscape that we will encounter this fall.

With COVID-19 changing how we deliver programs, one of the biggest question that is asked is how to do I deliver these new programs virtually or in a hybrid approach? This session will focus on learning about different ways to develop programs virtually, adapting programs to meet the needs of the audience both virtually and hybrid, and evaluating the learning experiences.

Prepare to head to Mars Basecamp with the 2020 4‑H STEM Challenge unboxing webinar. Learn about what's in the kit and how to facilitate the activities with 4‑H youth in this training dedicated to our 4‑H teen leaders.

Purchasing the Mars Base Camp Kit and Extra Materials
Mars Base Camp Kit

Extra Mars Rovers

Mars Base Camp USB Drive with Educator Materials

Mars Base Camp: Explore a hand-on mission to Mars at home, in Spanish