A self-determined project (created by you) allows YOU to decide:

  • What you want to learn
  • What you want to do, and
  • How you want to share what you learn.

Yes, you can focus your interests and passions to design projects that are not included in the 4-H project list. You can get help from others and BE CREATIVE!

If you are already enrolled for this 4-H project, then get started!  If you haven't signed up yet, go to 4-H on-line and choose self-determined from the pull down menu.

Create Your Project

A 4-H project includes all the learning and activities that you do in one subject area during the entire year. It includes citizenship activities, leadership activities, and communication activities along with learning about your interests.

Follow these  easy steps to create your project!

Step 1: Define topic. "I would like to learn about..." or "I would like to learn how to..."

Step 2: Gather and evaluate information. "I can get information on this topic from..." Remember to keep a record of useful web sites and other information sources.  Identify who is responsible for the information.  The web address can help you identify the kind of organization responsible for the website:

  • An educational institution is indicated by .edu.
  • Those with .gov are funded by a government agency.
  • Professional organizations, such as scientific or research societies, are identified by .org.

Step 3: Determine action. What will you do? What do you want to do with the information?

Step 4: Design an action plan. "To reach my goal by the deadline I set, I need to...."

Step 5: Anticipate roadblocks. What might you need to do differently?

Step 6: List all the things you do for your project.

Step 7: Evaluate. Did you reach your goal in the timeline you set? Why? Why not? What was easy? What was hard? What did you learn?

Step 8:  Share what you've learned with someone else. "I will share what I learned by...."

Step 9: Tell someone else. "I shared what I learned by...."

Step 10: Celebrate!

Here are some "starter ideas" to get you thinking about how you might want to design your own 4-H project!

  • Start a coin or stamp collection.
  • Find out how to become an exchange student.
  • Explore the history of a building in your community.
  • Learn about colleges.
  • Explore a career.
  • Start a business.