AMES, Iowa — During National 4-H Week, Oct. 7-13, Iowa youth join hundreds of thousands of youth from throughout the United States who will be conducting an innovative experiment to celebrate 4-H National Youth Science Day.
“Many Iowa youth will be conducting the experiment on the ‘official’ science day, Wednesday, Oct. 10. Some youth already completed the experiment or will do it yet this week. Others will conduct the experiment later in October or in November, depending upon what works best for local schedules,” said Shelly Greving, marketing director for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach 4-H Youth Development.
The 2012 National Science Experiment, the 4-H Eco-Bot Challenge, explores how robots can be used to preserve and protect the environment, while offering a glimpse into the future of science, technology, engineering and math. Whether conducting the experiment in elementary and middle schools or county extension offices, during class or in after-school programs, Iowa youth will be enhancing their engineering skills by assembling their own Eco-Bots and surface controls to manage an environmental clean-up, Greving explained. Youth then will test the interaction between the Eco-Bot’s design features and various surface control configurations to determine the most effective clean-up solution for the simulated spill.
Now entering its fifth year, 4-H National Youth Science Day seeks to spark an early youth interest and leadership in science. 4-H National Youth Science Day is part of 4-H’s national One Million New Scientists effort, with a goal of attracting 1 million new youth to science, engineering and technology programs by the year 2013.
“4-H National Youth Science Day draws attention to science for one experiment,” Greving said. “However, 4-H STEM programming provides Iowa youth with opportunities to take on science, technology, engineering and math challenges throughout the year. 4-H STEM programs help youth build skills and understand the impact of the top issues that face our state and our nation.”
National Youth Science Day events in Iowa include the following:
Johnson County — Tuesday, Oct. 9, evening; demonstrations including 4-H robotics club, dog agility, aerospace (launching a model rocket), hands-on science activities
Poweshiek County — Tuesday, Oct. 9, and Wednesday, Oct. 10, 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.; Grinnell Middle School; activities include Eco-Bot challenge with all GMS sixth graders and Donaldson’s employees
Allamakee County — Wednesday, Oct. 10, 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.; Waterville Elementary fifth/sixth grades and Waterville Elementary After School Program
Carroll County — Wednesday, Oct. 10, 5-8 p.m.; Swan Lake Education Center, Carroll; all Carroll County sixth-eighth graders were invited to participate
Howard County — Wednesday, Oct. 10, 12:45 – 3p.m.; Notre Dame Elementary, Cresco
Kossuth County — Wednesday Oct. 10, 4:30 to 6 p.m.; Wesley Community Center
Madison County — Wednesday, Oct. 10, 3:45 p.m.; Winterset students participating in PAWS (Partners at Winterset Schools) after-school program will complete the experiment
Clayton County — Thursday, Oct. 11, noon-2 p.m.; Central Community Schools
Dallas County -- Saturday, Oct. 13; Dallas County Fairgrounds horse arena; Bike Rodeo and Barnyard Bash, build a "horse"bot, pitch horse shoes, ride in the bicycle rodeo obstacle course, rope a "bull," stick horse races, line dancing, meet the rodeo queens and make a western vest
Guthrie County — Thursday, Nov. 15, 2 p.m.; Guthrie County Extension