What is STEM?
For more than a century, 4-H has engaged youth in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). This has traditionally meant a solid focus on agricultural science, electricity, mechanics, entrepreneurship, and natural sciences. Today, 4-H has grown to include rocketry, robotics, bio-fuels, renewable energy, computer science, environmental sciences, and more. 4-H Science, Engineering and Technology provides hands-on learning experiences to encourage learning about the world around you in partnership with adults that care about your learning and are crazy about STEM.
Our lives are completely immersed in science and technology. Cell phones, MP3 players, computers, cameras, digital video, internet, social networking, and on and on. We hear science claims in the news and it can be hard to make sense of the changing messages. Understanding how science, engineering, and technology impact our lives, solve problems and create new ones makes it easier to navigate our modern world. STEM skills can make you a better consumer of science and technology and maybe you will become the next scientist or engineer who's work makes a big difference in people's lives.
In school, science classes need to cover a broad range of topics in a limited amount of time. 4-H STEM allows time to dig deeper into what interests you. You can spend as much time as you want and choose what you want to work on based on your interests, questions, and skills. Get expert support by working with adults who have made science and engineering their life's work. Search CYSTEM to Find a mentor with expertise in what you want to learn about.
4-H STEM allows you to work on your questions, design your own tests, create your own models, build your understanding, and share your work with others. That's what science and engineering are, trying to understand the natural universe and develop solutions to the problems faced in our world today.
Science is inquiry that uses a specific approaches and skills. But all learning is an inquiry process so working with science helps develop your learning muscles.
When you were young you were always asking, "why?" That is what science is all about. Looking around at our universe and asking "why?" and then trying to answer the questions by using tests which find the information needed to produce answers. Nurturing your natural curiosity isn't just great fun, it is one of the best things you can do for your mind. In using science to search for answers to your questions you are preparing yourself for an exciting future.
Scientists have a toolkit of skills that they use to develop answers to their questions. Getting involved in 4-H STEM will help you develop those same abilities, and it provides practice so you can become better at skills like observation, interpretation, problem solving, communication, and more. Skills which are great not only for increasing your personal success in a future science and engineering activities, but they also will apply to any career and to all the things you learn and do!
The information we hear everyday on the news about science and science claims can be confusing and is constantly changing. Being literate in science and it’s engineering and technology applications allows you to make sense of the confusion. Science is always trying to improve itself and that means it changes over time. Understanding why and how science changes is valuable to everyone, whether or not you are interested in science careers. STEM literacy lets you in on how science works and gives you a better understanding of the information media presents about science.
Meet the 4-H STEM Team
4-H STEM is supported by a team of staff who are passionate about science, technology, engineering and math! Check out the Contact 4-H STEM page to meet our team or if you have questions or need help getting started.
- 4-H Clubs
- 4-H Clover Kids
- 4-H Science Technology Engineering & Math (STEM)
- Growing in the Garden
- Iowa 4-H Afterschool
- Iowa 4-H AmeriCorps
- Service Learning
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