New Hanover County – On October 10th, young people in New Hanover County and across the nation will become scientists for the day during the fifth annual 4-H National Youth Science Day (NYSD). This annual event seeks to spark an early youth interest in science and future science careers, and to reclaim the nation’s position of leadership in scientific exploration. As part of 4-H NYSD, youth will participate in the 4-H Eco-Bot Challenge: the 2012 National Science Experiment. The Eco-Bot Challenge will be held Wednesday at the New Hanover County Cooperative Extension auditorium at 5:00 pm.
This year’s experiment will introduce youth to robotic engineering concepts as they program a robot to clean up a simulated environmental spill. The 4-H Eco-Bot Challenge will demonstrate that by utilizing engineering principles, youth can have a positive impact on communities and ecosystems.
4-H’ers will enhance their engineering skills by assembling their own Eco-Bots and surface controls to manage an environmental clean-up. Youth will then 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.
To combat a national shortage of young people pursuing science college majors and occupations, and to enhance the nation’s contribution to the sciences, 4-H National Youth Science Day demonstrates that science, engineering, math and technology are fun and attainable options for college degrees and future careers.
Research has shown that participation in 4-H programs like 4-H NYSD makes a positive difference in the lives of youth. The 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development study has found that, when compared to other youth, young people involved in 4-H are:
- Two times more likely to get better grades in school;
- Two times more likely to plan to go to college;
- Nearly three times more likely to participate in science, engineering, or computer technology programs, and,
- Three times more likely to make positive contributions to their families and communities.
Overall, the study found that the advantages of 4-H participation include higher educational achievement and higher motivation for future education.