STATEWIDE, Maine — University of Maine Cooperative Extension will celebrate the fifth annual 4-H National Youth Science Days (NYSD) in October and November with a series of events designed to spark youth interest in science and future science careers.
As part of 4-H NYSD, youngsters will participate in the 4-H Eco-Bot Challenge, a 2012 National Science Experiment in which youngsters explore how robots function and could be used to help clean up hazardous materials spills.
There will be events at seven locations in Maine, where young people will enhance their engineering skills by assembling their own Eco-Bots and surface controls to manage a simulated environmental cleanup. They will then test the interaction between the Eco-Bot’s design features and various surface-control configurations to determine the most effective cleanup solution for the simulated spill.
The program is open to youth ages 5 to 18 (children ages 5 to 10 must be accompanied by an adult to participate). No prior robotics experience is required and registration is free and includes materials for the experiment.
For more information on 4-H NYSD, which begins Oct. 2 and ends Nov. 6 in Maine, visit [http://www.4-H.org/NYSD ]www.4-H.org/NYSD, or to register for a local 4-H youth science day activity in Bath, Perry, Windham, Poland, Searsport, Windsor or Topsham, visit the UMaine Extension 4-H youth science day website ([http://umaine.edu/4h/calendar-
Educators and volunteers from across the state are invited to participate and share the science experience with youth in their community.
To combat a national shortage of young people pursuing science college majors and occupations, and to enhance the nation’s contribution to the sciences, 4-H National Youth Science Day demonstrates that science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) are fun and attainable options for college degrees and future careers. Currently, more than five million young people across the nation participate in 4-H STEM programs.
Research has shown that participation in 4-H programs like 4-H NYSD makes a positive difference in the lives of youth. The Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development at Tufts University found in a 4-H study of positive youth development longitudinal study that, when compared to other youth, young people involved in 4-H are twice as likely to get better grades in school and twice as likely to plan to go to college; and are nearly three times more likely to participate in science, engineering, or computer technology programs and make positive contributions to families and communities.