AMES, Iowa -- Science, engineering, technology and math (STEM) interests have expanded through 4-H clubs in recent years and Iowa State University Extension Science, Engineering and Technology (E-SET) wants to encourage this growth. This year, 40 4-H programs received mini-grants to use for STEM-focused activities. A main focus of these grants is to help clubs reach high school youth and populations underrepresented in the science, engineering and technology fields, explained Holly Bignall, with E-SET.
Ten counties each received $500 grants for their overall 4-H programs and 30 individual 4-H clubs/programs or mentors that serve youth received $100 grants. The $500 mini-grants can be used for a county's 4-H program to support STEM activities. The $100 mini-grants can be used to support the specific club or project that received the award. Recipients must spend the funds and report activities by June 1, 2012.
“The part that is exciting about the science and technology fields is that they are an energizing and fun way to engage people with different interests,” said Jay Staker, director of E-SET. “There are many opportunities in these 4-H STEM programs for kids to find a fit based on their interests and to develop their skills and knowledge. It’s all based on what they’re interested in and what they're wired for.”
The mini-grants are sponsored by the STEM Student Enrollment and Engagement through Connections (SEEC) program and a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant. The SEEC program also offers $500 Engineering Talent in Every County scholarships to students who learn about engineering through the mini-grants, added Monica Bruning, educational leadership and policy studies faculty and principle investigator on the grant.
$100 Grant Recipients
$500 Grant Recipients