Tag Archives: 4-H science

Mark the date for 4-H Science Day With the Lugnuts

What’s more American than baseball and hot dogs? How about baseball, hot dogs and 4-H? Michigan State University Extension 4-H Youth Development in partnership with the Lansing Lugnuts will present 4-H Science Day at the Lugnuts July 15. The game begins at 2:05 p.m. with doors opening around noon. The Lugnuts will take on the Cedar Rapids Kernels.

 It’s a great opportunity to get kids excited about science and to see how science relates to everyday life – even the fun parts! Science activities will line the concourse for kids to get involved with hands-on experiments before and during the game. Kids will get the opportunity to see the relationship between science and sports, science and the baseball field turf and science and the ballpark menu.

 I’m told I may lead the seventh inning stretch. I’ve not been told if that’s a tai chi exercise routine or if it involves singing “ah one, and ah two, and ah three…” Or if it involves a pillow fight with the Big Lug.

 Look for more details to come.

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Getting Back to Business

Allen earns distinguished honors

On Nov. 2, one of our MSUE faculty members, Mike Allen, received an honor that places him in the upper echelon of Michigan State University faculty.

 Mike was named University Distinguished Professor, in recognition of his achievements in the classroom, laboratory and community. This is among the highest honors that can be bestowed on a faculty member by the university. Those selected for the title have been recognized nationally and internationally for the importance of their teaching, research and public service achievements.

As a distinguished professor of dairy cattle nutrition, Mike conducts research focused on the integration of digestion and metabolism in ruminants, emphasizing the effects of metabolic fuels on energy intake and partitioning. His work for MSU Extension takes a close look at the physiological and production responses of cows to dietary treatments through the lactation cycle. He works with nutritionists, veterinarians and others with experience in formulating diets for dairy cows.

A key product of Mike’s work is his leadership in developing the SPARTAN Dairy Ration Evaluator/Balancer for dairy managers to use in optimizing feed rations for dairy herds. Mike leads the way in helping our staff serve dairy producers with cutting-edge research applications. Given the importance of the dairy industry in Michigan’s agricultural economy, the impacts of Mike’s work help to show how MSUE serves to strengthen Michigan’s economy.

Three other faculty members whose research connects with MSUE programs, but who do not have MSUE appointments, received the University Distinguished Professor title last week:  Phil Robertson, distinguished professor of ecosystem science, is the principle investigator on the long-term ecological research project (LTER) at the Kellogg Biological Station; Pamela Fraker, distinguished professor of biochemistry and nutritional science and member of the prestigious National Academy of Sciences; and Nigel Paneth, distinguished professor of epidemiology and pediatric medicine and lead Principle Investigator on Michigan’s portion of the National Children’s study.

Congratulations Mike, Phil, Pamela, and Nigel! You can learn about all of the newly minted distinguished professors here.

Human resources professionals help manage change

No matter how much we try to prepare ourselves for change, the process is never easy. Even good changes can be stressful. That’s why the MSU Extension human resources group, under the leadership of Nancy Axtell, is doing its part to help faculty and staff members prepare for the upcoming organizational changes.

Some of you may have had an opportunity to see the first steps toward helping ease the transition at Fall Extension Conference (FEC09). There, Lisa Davidson from the MSU Employee Assistance Program, held two sessions focused on work-life balance. These helpful sessions took a close look at the delicate balance between time in the office (or in the field) and how it meshes with family life.

Thanks to Steve Evans and Karen Pace, that video is now available here. I encourage everyone to view it, and learn from it. 

This is only one piece of information that will be shared with you in the coming months. I’ll continue to update you as new tools are available. In the meantime, if you have any questions, contact Nancy Axtell. She’s eager to help.

4-H, always a blast

For 4-H’ers, Halloween 2009 was about more than ghosts and goblins. Nearly 300 of them, along with their chaperones and leaders, attended the 4-H Science Blast right here at Michigan State University.

The action-packed Saturday included a biofuel experiment and energy conservation demonstration, a hands-on opportunity to learn about the power of wind energy, a robotics course and even a rocket launch! In addition to it being a great activity for our youth, the media ate it up! This is the kind of 21st century programming that will help us to prepare Michigan’s youth for the economic and career opportunities that will transform Michigan’s economy. 

Special thanks to those who helped organize the event, including

  •  Jake DeDecker
  • Julie Chapin
  • Marian Reiter
  • Priscilla Martin
  • Neil Kentner
  • Jan Wendlend
  • Dennis Pennington
  • Melanie Chiodini
  • John Burhans
  • Mark Hansen
  • Melissa Payk
  • Michelle Lavra

And let’s not forget all the 4-H educators who helped promote the blast and/or brought a group with them to the event and the support of National 4-H Council and the Michigan 4-H Foundation in providing marketing and financial support for our Science, Engineering and Technology programs.

Are you doing youth programming that is launching green career ideas? Tell me about it in the comments section of this blog.

MSUE Redesign Web Conference Tomorrow

Don’t forget to tune in to the web conference on the restructuring portion of MSUE’s redesign on Friday, Nov. 6, from noon to 1 p.m. This webinar will only be available by Internet connection on MSU’s Adobe Connect portal and will not be available via telephone connection. If you cannot get to a web connection at the time of the conference, you will be able to review a recording of it that will be posted on the MSUE portal on Friday afternoon.  Here are the instructions for connecting:

Meeting Name:  MSUE Restructuring Updates
When:  11/06/2009 12 – 1 p.m.
To join the meeting, visit:

If you have never attended a Connect Pro meeting before:

Test your connection: http://breeze.msu.edu/common/help/en/support/meeting_test.htm

Get a quick overview: http://www.adobe.com/go/connectpro_overview

This meeting will deliver audio through your computer speakers or headset.   Please connect to the meeting space five minutes prior to the start time to verify your connection and audio volumes. If you’ve never used Adobe Connect on the computer you will be using, please use the “Test your connection” link above and do a test connection to the actual meeting space well in advance of the scheduled meeting time.  If you have technical difficulty connecting, please call the Library Help Desk at 1-800-500-1554 or 5-2345 (campus) and indicate you are having trouble connecting to the Adobe Connect meeting space at http://breeze.msu.edu/msuerestructureupdate/.     

Keep in mind that many people will be linked in to this conference. To facilitate question and answer, we ask participants to submit questions via the Chat function in Adobe Connect rather than trying to receive questions submitted by voice.

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Filed under 4-H, Agriculture, Awards, Farming, Uncategorized, Youth development