Youth Explore STEM Activities at State Fair 4-H Event

North America Crop Science at Bayer creating a tradition around fun science experiences.

August 27, 2019, 10:25 am | Payton Sash, Sara Nelson

young people using chromatography to make butterflies.DES MOINES, Iowa – Youth visiting the 4-H Exhibition Hall at the Iowa State Fair had the opportunity to participate in hands-on activities during this year’s STEM event hosted by Bayer. From skewering inflated balloons, launching Alka-Seltzer filled plastic cups into the air and creating butterflies using chromatography, young people took part in science experiments while attending the fair.

Events such as this allows Bayer to keep youth interested in STEM activities and stimulate a yearning to learn why things work and ask questions about the improbable.

“Experiencing science in motion gets kids excited about STEM projects early,” said Darren Wallis, vice president of communications for North America Crop Science at Bayer. “This is our second year at the Iowa State Fair with 4-H, and we plan to continue this tradition to allow kids to have a fun science experience.”

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds and country music star Luke Bryan were attending the fair that day and took part in the STEM event. The pair participated in the activities, each making their own colored butterflies and laughing at the rockets. They also reflected on their own 4-H activities; when asked about his most memorable 4-H experiences, 4-H alum Bryan said, “I loved the 4-H lock-ins, poultry judging and the 4-H camps. Especially the bus rides there!” Bryan also discussed how he continues to support 4-H, citing his past event with country star Jennifer Nettles and promoting farm tours.

Bayer plans to continue their partnership with 4-H, to achieve a goal of engaging 25,000 people in science-based activities. The exciting, educational programs developed by the partnership encourage youth to develop problem solving and leadership abilities that will last a lifetime.

For more information on 4-H STEM events or on joining 4-H, contact an Iowa State University Extension and Outreach county office or visit the Iowa 4-H website at


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