Tag Archives: SET

4-H Great Lakes & Natural Resources Camp recognized as one of top 4-H science programs, report on study released

We knew all along that Michigan State University Extension’s 4-H Great Lakes & Natural Resources Camp is a great pre-college program for kids to learn through outdoor hands-on experiences and have fun in the process. Others have noticed as well. In 2008, the annual seven-day camp held on the shores of Lake Huron in Presque Isle, Michigan, was named as a 4-H Program of Distinction. In 2009, it won the National 4-H and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Natural Resources Conservation Education Award.

 In 2011, it was selected out of 70 nominations of promising science programs through a structured process of nominations and vetting as one of eight top science programs in a National 4-H science program in-depth case study. The study was part of the 4-H Youth Development Program’s National Science Initiative evaluation funded by the Noyce Foundation through a grant to National 4-H Council.

A new report was recently released on the case study. “Priming the Pipeline: Lessons from Promising 4-H Science Programs,” written by Derek Riley and Alisha Butler from Policy Studies Associates, features the camp and the seven other selected science programs. It covers practices in the following areas: youth outreach and recruitment, staff and science volunteers, professional development, science curricula and pedagogy, youth development and attitudes toward science, partner organizations and resource support, program evaluation, and program sustainability and scale-up.

Senior program leader Judy Ratkos serves as camp administrator and co-directs the camp with 4-H volunteer Bob Patterson.

Judy said, “It is truly an honor for the staff and volunteers involved in 4-H Great Lakes & Natural Resources Camp to have it recognized as one of the top 4-H science programs in the nation. To have it held up as a model for other youth science programs – both within and outside of 4-H – creates awareness that MSU Extension can help lead the way in increasing science literacy among Michigan young people and increase the number of youth pursuing postsecondary education and careers in science.

“The lessons shared in this newly released report should be helpful to other 4-H science programs striving to be ‘SET Ready.’ A SET Ready 4-H experience is a program that is framed in science, engineering and technology concepts based on SET standards and intentionally targets the development of SET abilities and the outcomes articulated by the 4-H SET Logic Model,” Judy said.

Congratulations to Judy and her team! They inspire the rest of us to make the best even better.

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Videos that promote our programs air on WKAR

Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) Communications has collaborated with WKAR to produce a new mini-series called “Did You Know?” The mini-series features 90-second videos focusing on programs within the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Many of the videos focus on Michigan State University Extension programs.

 In case you missed any of the videos, you can view them on the MSU ANR YouTube site here.

 The “Did You Know?” videos include:

  • 4-H Partnership with Ingham County Family Center
  • 4-H Science Blast
  • Black Stallion Literacy
  • Eat Right – Active Life
  • The Great Dairy Adventure
  • MSU Local Beef Initiative
  • Ready, Set, Read

As developed, other videos will be offered to WKAR for consideration, including a piece on the First Book/early childhood literacy book give-away that we highlighted last week in this email and blog, and a recent 4‑H recruitment event.


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Book give-away promotes reading

It’s not every day that our programs attract the attention of three different Detroit area television stations. And last Wednesday, March 2 was no ordinary day. For one thing, it was the 107th anniversary of the birth of Dr. Theodor Seuss Geisel (Dr. Seuss). To celebrate his birthday and to kick off March Is Reading Month, the Michigan State University Extension 4-H Youth Development Ready, Set, Read! Program began distribution of an assortment of 1,000 books to children in Wayne County. The collection is part of a donation of 50,000 books by the Molina Foundation, located in Torrance, Calif., and founded in 2004 by Dr. Martha Molina Bernadett. The give-aways took place at three Detroit locations: Bates Academy, All Saints Neighborhood Center and the 4-H Community Center. At each location, Wayne County commissioners read President Obama’s children’s book, “Of Thee I Sing.” Even Sparty was on hand to celebrate.

 According to Edward Scott, MSUE Wayne County educator, attendance at the 4-H Community Center was twice what they had expected with 123 kids and 15 to 20 adults attending. Said Edward, “Commissioner Bernard Parker, who did the reading at the center, was blown away by the number of people who showed up.”

 Each commissioner received a copy of the book they read with signatures of all of the kids in attendance as a thank you, along with a 4-H coffee mug and a certificate.

 Edward remarked, “Even high school-aged kids showed up. There was a mad dash to get the books – the kids were that excited. This really shatters the popular perception that kids aren’t interested in reading.”

 Many of the books featured science-based topics. National 4-H’s goal is to engage one million new young people in science programs by 2013. As part of that goal, MSUE 4-H is focusing on science literacy among children.

 View the video below created by the Agriculture and Natural Resources Communications video unit. It features children at Bates Academy, enjoying their books. It also includes comments from Edward, school staff members and Irma Clark-Coleman, Wayne County commissioner.

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4-H Discovery Campers explore the world of energy

At the first-ever 4-H Discovery Camp, a group of nine teens spent a week learning about alternative energy solutions July 5–9 through tours of Michigan State University on-campus labs, the MSU Power Plant, the MSU Museum, Zeeland Farm Services, MBI, Carbon Green Bioenergy and Horizon Wind Energy Farm. Participants also did hands-on research at the Kellogg Biological Station. The campers stayed in a campus dorm where they enjoyed a mix of recreational opportunities and learning experiences. They conducted their own experiments and created their own biofuel. The teens also had a chance to visit the farm of Leon Jackson in Applegate, Mich. Mr. Jackson makes his own biofuel while using solar panels and wind turbines to reduce his energy costs.

campers at Zeeland Farm Services

4-H Discovery Campers at Zeeland Farm Services with Jan Wendland (front row, left) Neil Kentner (front row, right) and Melanie Chiodini (back row, left)

The camp was part of the 4-H Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) nationwide initiative. The camp sponsor was the Corn Marketing Program of Michigan; day sponsor was the Michigan Soybean Promotion Committee. The camp fees were partially funded through a grant from Michigan State University Extension 4- H Youth Development.

campers at MSU Power Plant

4-H Discovery Campers listen to Gary Mell, performance engineer, at the MSU Power Plant

Wind energy farm turbines

4-H Discovery Campers viewed the wind turbines at Horizon Wind Energy Farms

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Filed under 4-H, Youth development

MSUE and partners are finalists in National 4-H Science experiment proposal

The National 4-H SET (Science, Engineering and Technology) Leadership Team put out the challenge to all land-grant universities and Michigan State University Extension (MSUE) responded by creating a wonder team of partners to propose an experiment for youth to conduct during the 2010 4-H National Youth Science Day (4-H NYSD). The focus of 4-H NYSD is the creation of a single science experiment (the “4-H National Youth Science Experiment”) focusing on water quality and climate change. 4-H NYSD reflects the Cooperative Extension System’s focus on increasing support of science, engineering, and technology programming for our nation’s youth. It also helps us reach opinion leaders, funders and the public to attract one million new young people to science programs by 2013.

 Working in collaboration with other public or private sector partners was an important element of the creation process for the purpose of promoting cutting-edge design, expanding the educational quality of the experiment and promoting new local and national partnerships.

 Partners working on the experiment proposal were Melanie Chiodini, MSU Extension educator; Judy Ratkos, CYFC 4-H Youth Development program leader; Dr. Jake DeDecker, CYFC 4-H Youth Development program leader; Steve Stewart, SE MI Senior District Sea Grant Extension Educator/State Sea Grant education program co-leader/COSEE Great Lakes Michigan coordinator; Steve Sendek, Michigan Department of Natural Resources senior fisheries biologist; Elizabeth LaPorte, Sea Grant communications director/State Sea Grant education program co-leader; Brandon Schroeder, MSU Extension District Sea Grant Extension educator; Sarah Waters, NOAA Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary education coordinator; and Meaghan Black, NOAA Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary education specialist. East Lansing and Sanilac County 4-H youth and teen leaders assisted in testing the experiment and creating a video.

 MSUE 4-H and partners were selected as finalists and their proposal was one of the top three nationwide. Although the proposal was not the one selected for 4-H NYSD 2010, the work done by this team is being considered for further development for national and state use. Michigan youth development and environmental education will reap the rewards of future endeavors that will come about because of the partnerships developed during this project.

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