Start Your Own Project

A 4-H educator shows a young girl something on the computer

What is it All About?

The self-determined project allows you freedom to design a project with skills that are not already offered in a different project. Please consider if your project work might fit into another project area before selecting the self-determined project. Members enrolling in the Self-determined project are responsible for identifying their project resources and filling out project paperwork. Projects in this category allow the member to set individual goals and select activities suited to his or her needs. Approval from your UW-Madison Extension 4-H Educator is required.

Grow in Your Project


  • Learn to develop your project idea
  • Inventory your interests, needs, aspirations, concerns, experiences, skills, and resources related to the areas you are looking to learn more about
  • Create and submit a project plan to your 4-H Educator


  • Set project goals
  • Develop a plan on how to achieve your goals
  • Carry out your plan
  • Work with others to develop your plan


  • Evaluate your progress on project goals
  • Record your progress
  • Share your experience with others
  • Teach others and mentor them in your project

Click Here for Project Member Resources

Resources for All Levels

Take Your Project Further!

  • Take a tour of something related to your project
  • Interview someone with a career related to your project
  • Participate in a radio program to share your learning with others
  • Create a display for school or a library showing others about your project
  • Create a video to share about what you are learning
  • Visits a store that sells items related to your project
  • Discuss your project with family and friends
  • Check out books related to your project at the library
  • Visits websites that can tell you more information about your topic
  • Find community sponsored workshop or talks related to your project

Applying Project Skills to Life

Enhance Your Communication Skills

  • Give a demonstration at your club meeting about your project idea
  • Write a letter to the newspaper sharing information you have learned

Get Involved in Citizenship and Service

  • Make items that can be donated to those in need
  • Learn about government agencies or commissions that take interest in your topic

Learn about Leadership

  • Host a community workshop to teach others about your project area
  • Host a self-determined open house allowing you and others in the project to share what you are learning
  • Encourage others to get involved in your project

Showing What You’ve Learned

  • A photo display of your learning
  • A poster explaining what you are learning
  • Make an item related to your project
  • A leadership poster that would help you to teach others about your project
  • A display showing research you conducted about your project
  • A display of you doing your project (dance, theater, etc.)
  • A video demonstrating you working in your project and teaching others
  • A workshop on your project to help get more people interested
  • Create a lesson plan for others to use to teach your project
  • A slideshow demonstrating your process and how others can create their own project
  • Anything else you can think of!

Adapted with permission from Wyoming State 4-H, Project Information Sheet, Self-Determined. Retrieved from:

*Resources available at your local Extension office or

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