This week’s 4-H project highlight is Everything STEM! Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math cross over to so many day-to-day areas!
When we think of STEM, we usually think of robotics or Unmanned Aerial Systems but 4-H STEM project learning includes AG Mechanics (welding), Architectural Block Construction (ABC), Computer Science, Electricity/Electronics, Renewable Energy, Rocketry/Aerospace, and Small Engines!
Ag mechanics, small engines, electricity, and ABC all have the potential for pursuing jobs in welding, mechanic work, electricians, drafting, and construction! Additionally, those same interests can lead youth to pursue careers in vo-ag/vo-tech education, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, architecture or architectural engineering.
The rocketry part of the STEM project has been around the longest and helps youth explore all the pieces of aerospace.
You never know what youth with an interest in renewable energy or unmanned aerial systems will develop the next technology to solve issues for all of us! An important part of the STEM project areas is to develop with scientific skills of hypothesis, experimentation, recording of results and the always important, patience and perseverance.
When I think of the wealth of STEM-related jobs in our area, I am amazed at the opportunities. Many manufacturing jobs require STEM skills or understanding to progress. Crop and livestock companies are increasingly using unmanned aerial systems to check watersheds, irrigation systems, and pest or weed management issues without needing to disturb the soil. There is always a need for good electricians and builders!
In particular, the Ag Mechanics/Welding area has really grown in the last year and I’m excited to continue to see that growth. ABC continues to challenge youth to think spatially and sets them up for construction work, architecture, or construction science. Rocketry will continue to be one of our bigger STEM project areas as it includes the fun of building and then launching your creation!
If you are interested in learning more about these or other 4-H projects, check out kansas4-h.org in the Projects section! All projects include communications skills, record keeping, career connections, and opportunities for leadership and community service!
Michelle Beran is the 4-H Youth Development Agent in the Cottonwood Extension District. For more information on this article or other 4-H Youth Development resources, email Michelle at [email protected] or call Cottonwood Extension District – Barton Office at 620-793-1910.