4-H science activities on the move

Sunday, March 22, 2015
Courtesy photo Youth in the Central Elementary FEET Club conduct a "Wired for Wind" activity at their recent club meeting.

When many think about 4-H, the first thing that comes to mind is the fair or 4-H projects.

The fair is a great showcase and 4-H projects are a great way for youth to have non-formal learning across many disciplines. Locally, like in many counties, 4-H youth development programs include science and other activities in school programs, after school clubs and other activities.

Recently, Purdue Extension staff led the Wired for Wind 4-H Science activity with the South Putnam Central Elementary "FEET" Club youth members who are in grades 4 and 5. Additionally, the Past Presidents Extension Homemakers provided funds for it and other 4-H science activities possible.

In "Wired for Wind" youth learn science and mathematics principles by building wind turbines to generate electricity. When constructing the blades, youth must determine the size, shape, and pitch or how the blades will be angled.

Other questions include how many blades should be used... two or three or four or more? What happens when there is disagreement within the team of four or five youth building the wind turbine in regards to these questions? When these debates occur, youth learn beyond math and science to pick up persuasion, compromise, negotiation and team building skills as well.

Other local and statewide 4-H science initiatives include stream analysis using benthic macro invertebrates, rockets away, eco-bots and robotics work groups using Lego EV3 Mindstorm kits. Additionally county wide field days like the elementary agriculture science field day in April and the middle school natural resource science field day in September/October provide additional school enrichment activities.

If your 4-H club, classroom or group would like to learn more about these activities, contact the Extension office using the info below. Some items may be loaned out while others are events where hands-on activities are conducted by Extension staff or 4-H volunteers.

Visit the homepage at www.extension.purdue.edu/putnam or contact the local Purdue Extension Office by calling 653-8411 for more information regarding this week's column topic or to RSVP for upcoming events. It is always best to call first to assure items are ready when you arrive and to RSVP for programs. While many publications are free, some do have a fee.

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Upcoming Events

March 23 -- IEHA Spring District meeting, Fairgrounds.

March 23 -- Fair Board meeting, Fairgrounds 7:30 p.m.

April 6 -- Wear Blue child abuse prevention program, Fairgrounds, 6 p.m.

April 6 -- Putnam 4-H Junior Leaders, Fairgrounds, follows child abuse prevention program.

April 16 -- Electric workshop for 4-H'ers, Extension Office, 6-8 p.m.

April 22 -- Kim Miller retirement reception, Extension Office, 4:30-6:30 p.m.

April 23 -- Exploring 4-H meeting, Fairgrounds, 6:30 p.m.

April 24 -- Performing Arts Area V 4-H Contest, Vermillion County.

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