Monthly Archives: June 2008

4H Provides Incredible Technology-Related Camps for Kids — Not Just Animal Husbandry any More

Is your kid interested in Robotics, Biology or other Technologies? Believe it or not 4-H camps now have it all.

4H is now a growing community of more than 6.5 million young people across America who learns leadership, citizenship and life skills to uplift the country. National 4-H Council is the national, private sector, non-profit partner of the 4-H Youth Development Program and its parent, the Cooperative Extension System of the United States Department of Agriculture.

4-H prepare America’s youth by encouraging exploration, discovery and ignite passion for science, engineering, and technology through accessible, hands-on out-of-school programming. 4-H does these things by mapping DNAs, solving problem and instigate possibility thinking in kids. It uses science to solve community problems and giving an opportunity to work in cutting-edge technologies. 4-H takes youths to labs, research organization and involve them in some real projects so they become interested and create project on their own.

To develop these youths, 4-H partners with several science or engineering-based corporations and universities to develop camps. Through this 4-H foster an early interest in the sciences with the hope that youth will be interested in and pursue technical careers in the future. The corporations commit to the work of 4-H as part of ensuring a pipeline of qualified workers for the future.

4-H offers 400 residential camps that foster interest in the sciences. 4-H’s educational programs in science, engineering, and technology have an unparalleled reach of more than 5 million youth in all 50 states. It has a longstanding history as a leader in youth education and has partnerships with 106 Land Grant Universities and the university-based curriculum.

According to Rising Above Gathering Storm, 2006, only 5% of college graduates in America are leaving college with degrees in science, engineering or technology compared to 66% in Japan, 59% in China and 36% in Germany.

4-H is playing a vital role in positive youth development by aligning the interests and talents of today’s youth with current technologies, resources, and communal offerings and by showing that scientific studies can be part of the social and academic norm.

A recent study (Tufts University Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development) shows that participants in 4-H are more likely to obtain higher school grades, enroll in college, and contribute to society. When compared to children who participate in non 4-H related out-of-school activities (sports, Scouting, etc), 6th graders currently participating in 4-H clubs and after-school programs are 1.6 times more likely to enroll in college.

Children who had participated in 4-H for at least one year by 8th grade are about 3.5 more likely to contribute to their families, self, and communities. They are also 1.3 times more likely to be on the lowest trajectories for both depressive symptoms and or risk/delinquent behaviors.

4-H stresses on “learning by doing”. It believes that by doing something students learn faster than reading.

Some of the 4-H science and tech camps, where students really learn by doing.

  • The ExxonMobil Foundation and The Harris Foundation funded a summer science camp with the 4-H extension program at Oregon State University where 6th and 8th graders learn about Lego robotics, ecology, and Web 2.0 tools. As a result, 80% of campers reported an increased interest in science as a result of attending; 55% planned a career in science.
  • Intel has invested nearly half a million dollars in the 4-H Tech Wizards program in Washington County, Oregon. The program charges kids with using state of the art technology, like handheld GPS/GIS devices to complete community projects including street tree inventory and mapping the safest walking routes to local schools. Intel employs 16 thousand people in that area.
  • Utah State University and Utah 4-H teamed up to create 4-H Aggie Adventures for Kids, a program offering educational day-camps that explore archeology, solar energy, GPS technology, robotics, chemistry and physics.
  • 4-H held an invitational day camp for both individuals and groups at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Participants were immersed in hands-on training for a space shuttle mission and explored the history and future of a manned space flight.

You can also volunteer 4-H by clicking here http://www.fourhcouncil.edu/find4h.aspx

Dr. Cathann Kress
Director of Youth Development National 4-H Headquarters at the US Dept. of Agriculture

Dr. Cathann Kress – A biography

Dr. Cathann Kress Ph.D, Director of Youth Development, National 4-H Headquarters at the US Dept. of Agriculture. She provides national leadership for youth development issues within the Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service (CSREES), in the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and provides program leadership for youth development programs administered through the Cooperative Extension System and Land Grant Universities, including 4-H, USDA-Military Partnerships, Rural Youth Opportunity Programs and Children, Youth and Families at-Risk (CYFAR).

Dr. Kress provides national leadership for youth development research, education and program implementation, which includes providing information, resources, and support related to current and relevant youth issues; oversight for training for youth-serving professionals; support for the development of curriculum and materials related to current youth issues and administration of grants programs, including Children, Youth and Families at Risk (CYFAR).

These programs reach more than 7 million youth (ages 5-22) annually, with the assistance of over 640,000 adult volunteers. Dr. Kress directly supervises 16 staff and works collaboratively with about 3,000 land grant university faculty and staff leading 4-H at the state and county level, and with over 60 affiliated private foundations and organizations. Federal support for these programs is approximately $80 million annually, which leverages additional state and local public dollars and substantial grants and other private funding.

Dr. Kress joined CSREES in October 2002, after serving as Assistant Director for Cornell Cooperative Extension and State 4-H Leader in New York. Dr. Kress also served as State Youth Development Specialist for Iowa State University Extension, primarily serving as a violence prevention consultant for schools and began her Extension career as a 4-H Youth Development Educator in Benton and Tama counties in Iowa.

Dr. Kress co-authored the book, Key Resources on Student Services as well as the annual guides, Understanding the Iowa Youth Survey Data: A Practical Guide for Schools and Communities. Prior experience includes teacher training and education for gifted students.

Dr. Kress lives in Southern Maryland with her husband and three children.

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Science, Technology and Mathetmatics Education Gets a Boost From Summer Camp

Northeastern's historic Ell Hall on Huntington Avenue

Image via Wikipedia

Have you heard about a unique summer science camps for kids? Do you want your kids to outperform in Science and Technology? Here is a piece of information, which will propel your kids to new heights.

Northeastern University conducts STEM program by integrating Science, Technology, Education and Mathematics. The mission of STEM is to enable youth to develop and achieve their full potential through support of social, recreational programs.

STEM offers various programs at different levels and BHSSC is one of them. The ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp (BHSSC) is a free, academic program funded by The Harris Foundation, that takes an active role in shaping education in students entering grade 6,7, or 8 in the fall of 2008.

The camp identifies 48 students from the greater Boston area / primarily Boston itself. It tests the application level in math / science grades / teacher recommendation / essay. Students can participate for one summer only and are supported through follow-up sessions and complimentary program such as the algebra plus camp at math power.

A 2 week residential program accommodate only 48 students in one batch. It involves field excursions; interaction with engineers, scientist, researchers, and other professionals; developing new projects; hands-on experience in relevant fields; on-campus residential experiences. This summer, STEM plans to conduct 20 such camps across US.

The camp is staffed by high quality faculty / administrators and students from the College of Arts and Science and the College of Engineering at Northeastern University, providing STEM students an opportunity to be engaged in educational outreach efforts.

This camp program was originally developed as a collaborative effort of the Harris Foundation, the Houston Independent School District, the University of Houston (UH) and the Southwestern Oklahoma State University (SWOSU), designed to support historically underserved and underrepresented students with limited opportunities.

Clare Duggan, Associate Director – STEM program, feels that STEM is critical to society’s infrastructure for the 21st century and preserving that future requires an investment, such as the BHSSC, in our youth today.

To know more about STEM programs, visit http://www.stem.neu.edu/programs.htm

Claire Duggan
Associate Director
Center for STEM Education

Claire Duggan – A biography

Claire Duggan, Associate Director, Center for STEM Education, Northeastern University; co-director, Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp Richard Harris, Co-director, Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp

Claire directs a number of teacher and student programs, including the Exxon Mobil / Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp.

Northeastern University, founded in 1898, is a private research university located in the heart of Boston. Northeastern is a leader in interdisciplinary research, urban engagement, and the integration of classroom learning with real-world experience. The university’s distinctive cooperative education program, where students alternate semesters of full-time study with semesters of paid work in fields relevant to their professional interests and major, is one of the largest and most innovative in the world. The University offers a comprehensive range of undergraduate and graduate programs leading to degrees through the doctorate in six undergraduate colleges, eight graduate schools, and two part-time divisions.

Northeastern University’s Center for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education has a mission to work with students and teachers in the Boston area. The Center for STEM education is directed by Christos Zahopolous.

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Entering Our Drawings for Prizes

Hi All!  I’ve got a couple of outstanding drawings that we need to get winners for.  One is for one of Dr. Mark Hyman‘s Ultra-Metabolism books and the other is for you to make high-grade photo books for your friendshttp://www.ultrametabolism.com/files/images/drhymanbio.jpg or family.  But…

I haven’t got the software up and online for it yet… so If you’d like to enter, please go ahead and send a quick email to craig at this domain (craigpeterson.com) and indicate that you’d like to enter our drawings.  Once we’ve got the software up (hopefully next week), I’ll send you an email to let you know you’ve entered.

By the way, also go ahead and drop me a note and let me know if you think we should have a permanent drawings list so that you get a note to enter each of our drawings as they come online.

Thanks!

Craig.

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New England Program Helps Promote Women in Engineering and Technology Fields

Have you heard of a unique program, which encourages young women to pursue a career in Engineering, Science, Mathematics and Technology?

Dr. Nancy Savage has been spreading the word of just such a program for quite some time. She runs a one-week long residential summer STEM program at University of New Haven.

About STEM Program:

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) is a one-week long residential summer program for young girls aged 10 -15. It is being offered by offered by Tagliatela College of Engineering at the University of New Haven (CT).

Students learn different aspects of engineering, science, maths and technology by involving in intensive activities during these period.

It focuses on children who are enthusiastic and passionate on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

At this camp students learn in a university environment and work together in teams with a UNH faculty or staff member on DNA analysis (faculty from Henry Lee Institute); robotics and—new this year—CAD drawing, nanot echnology.

She points out that there is a real need for encouraging young women to pursue the STEM path. “In most STEM fields, there are far fewer women than men and until there is a balance it is important to encourage young women to consider these fields.” According to American Associate of University of Women, 2004 , current ratio of men engineers vs. women engineers is 5:1. She feels that there is a lack of women engineers and spotted a need to mould women in this field. She involves them in science and technology so that they can pursue and become role models.

Noting that women bring different skill sets to any “non-traditional” field, she adds, “Science and engineering disciplines need women, with their experiences, interests and ideas, to help bring about future discoveries and innovations.” This camp is open to those girls who rank in the top half of their class.

As to her own career in science, Savage credits her own youthful experience in part, which included a good deal of encouragement from her high-school chemistry teacher and winning a “Golden Test Tube Award.”

Currently the program conducts in August and of residential nature. Children live and learn together during this summer program. Scholarships are also available for some students but it depends on criteria.

More details about scholarships, fee, date, are available at the site.

It’s worth attending STEM program and become a role model in your own area.

Dr. Nancy Savage
Assistant Professor Director, Summer Institute for Young Women.
Dr. Nancy Savage – A biography

Dr. Nancy Savage
is a teacher, researcher, writer and an expert in chemical technology. She also holds membership in various chemical associations. She is the course faculty in Chemical engineering at University of New Haven.

Nancy has expertise in the following areas:

  • Sol-gel metal oxide synthesis
  • Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectroscopy and Xray Diffraction analysis of materials
  • Electrical behavior of materials in response to gas molecules

Currently, Savage is developing composites of semi conducting metal oxides and conducting polymers, investigating their behavior as chemical sensors for future application in an electronic nose.
Nancy has published various articles, books and done a lot of research. More detailed information of Dr. Nancy Savage’s her work is available at http://www.newhaven.edu/news-events/19089/

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