Projects & Resources
4-H has a variety of curriculum resources that engage young people in science, engineering and technology learning.
We are building a showcase of national and regional curriculum products appropriate for in school enrichment, clubs, and after school programs.
2013 4-H Summer Science
4-H identified Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) as a critical part of its mandate and Rutgers Cooperative Extension is poised to play a vital role in creating interest and competency in STEM for young people.
Participants must have completed their freshman year in high school and are selected based on teacher recommendations and participation in an extensive application process that included writing an essay and interviews by their local 4-H staff. Each selected youth participant agrees to provide a minimum of 50 hours of service to their local 4-H program, committing to work with 4-H staff in their community to provide science-focused after-school and summer programming to younger youth and children. Please contact Chad Ripberger to learn how to apply for this program.
4-H Climate and Environmental Change Projects
Climate change with its forecasts of melting ice caps and the extinction of our planets species can be emotionally overwhelming. Scientists have evidence that our Earth is warming and our climate is changing. Scientists know this by examining temperature readings from around the globe that show a relatively rapid increase in surface temperature during the past century. We know that climate change will affect ecosystems and human systems - such as agricultural, transportation, and health infrastructure - differently and unevenly. In general, the larger and faster the changes in climate are, the more difficult it will be for human and natural systems to adapt.
NJ 4-H has designed a suite of programs and resources designed to equip youth with both scientific knowledge and the life skills required to improve their understanding of the science of climate change and the skills to apply this knowledge wisely in their personal life and in their role as active citizens.
- New Jersey Climate Change Investigations Activities
This 4-H thematic unit, developed as part of the Children Families at Risk (CYFAR) program, uses hand held Pasco Spark units to encourage young people to collect their own data and compare it to climate data.
We focused on using physical and life science concepts to focus on the personal and social perspectives of climate change. We used the climate literacy: Essential Principles of Climate Sciences and the American Associate for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)'s Atlas of Science Literacy to develop an age level appropriate scope and sequence that provides a scientific understanding and social application of climate change science. Please contact Janice McDonnell for more information.
- Other Climate Change Resources
Today, in Antarctica, air temperatures are 2-3 ° С warmer than they have been in the past. While this temperature increase may seem insignificant, it is playing a major role in the retreat of the world's glaciers, the large masses of snow and ice found in the high mountains and on land. Nearly 90% of the Antarctic Peninsula's glaciers have retreated in the past 50 years due to increases in air and water temperatures (Cook et al. 2005).
Antarctica Melting tells the story of climate change in Antarctica from the perspective of scientists studying at Palmer Station. The site consists of four podcasts from the perspective of scientists and companion lesson plans.
- Climate & Environmental Change Teen Summit
Each year high school youth and their teachers/leaders are invited to attend our 2-day Rutgers Climate & Environmental Change Teen Summit. Rutgers University scientists as well as a representative from the non-profit group, Alliance for Climate Education (ACE), present climate change science based presentations. Each school team developed a community action plan as well as a media component related to the climate change science introduced during the summit.
Examples of action plans were:
- Rain garden installation to emphasize water consumption and conservation.
- Paper recycling program for district 4th grade students.
- School based program to reduce impact of waste produced through plastic consumption by distribution of reusable water bottles.
- Environmental education event to build awareness of climate change related issues and to promote behavior change in students.
Archived Webinar Series: What do we do about a changing climate?
The NJ Department of 4-H Youth Development, with matching funds from the National Science Foundation developed and hosted a webinar series focused on providing content and skills needed to create a community of practice around the topic of teaching climate change in an afterschool/informal setting with underserved and underrepresented youth. Our objective specifically was to provide the scientific content, expertise in curriculum development and program implementation necessary to develop a successful program through a close collaboration with the University of California - Berkeley Lawrence Hall of Science.
|Understanding Climate Change: What are the Big Ideas Youth Should Understand about a Changing Climate||John Erickson||John shared his experience with building curriculum materials that support science learning in afterschool environments. We discussed the challenges and opportunities we have as 4-H educators in teaching climate change concepts to at- risk youth.|
|Effective Strategies for Afterschool Science Learning||Kevin Beales||Kevin shared his experience with the dos and don't's of planning after school science learning. He discussed how he developed the green afterschool curriculum and professional development program for the Lawrence Hall of Science.|
|Service Learning in Citizen Schools||Kevin Beales||Kevin shared his experience with the dos and don't's of planning after school science learning. He discussed how he developed the green afterschool curriculum and professional development program for the Lawrence Hall of Science.|
|Developing a Scope and Sequence of Learning for Climate Literacy||Catherine Halversen||Catherine discussed the elements of an effective scope and learning sequence to raise the issues of climate change impacts and solutions with youth. She discussed grade level appropriateness of climate content and how we sequence and build concepts to maximize understanding for our learners.|