Youth in Milwaukee discovered 4-H through the exploration of science! Milwaukee County 4-H created a summer STEM program and lead the enrichment opportunity with 70 youth at three community organizations.
All youth participated in science labs which included creating bird feeders, lava lamps, and windsocks for the younger youth, to making a flashlight and engineering a package for an egg drop for the older youth. Youth were able to learn through discovery and experimentation in a safe space that encouraged questions.
Youth in fifth grade and older participated in three sessions of archery which is a unique offering in Milwaukee, especially connecting it with science! Youth learned how to shoot an arrow using proper form and had fun challenging themselves to grow their skills daily. They also explored the forces and physics involved in shooting archery and the history of the bow and arrow! This was the first time that many of the youth were introduced to physics. “It was super fun and creative,” -youth participant.
Additionally, all three organizations were located near a park which allowed the youth to observe the environment around them using technology provided in Digital Observation Technology Skills Kits. Youth zoomed into nature using a hand-held microscope that displayed on an iPad, discovered the hottest and coldest objects in the area using a thermal imager and infrared thermometer, and even challenged each other to a geocaching treasure hunt! Most of the youth that completed the evaluation agreed that they can see themselves using this technology in their career and that they can name one way that STEM can be used to help their neighborhood.
Through this new summer program, Milwaukee 4-H broadened its outreach, increased enrollment and most importantly developed relationships with youth, families, and community organizations.