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University of Illinois Extension

4-Hers Put Engineering Knowledge to the Challenge

September 24, 2013

Five Illinois 4-H members will represent the state in the National 4-H Engineering Challenge to be held Sept. 29 – Oct. 1 at Purdue University. The 4-Hers will compete in the electric energy, tractor and welding divisions of the contest.

The Challenge is the premier event within the national 4-H program which allows youth from around the country to showcase their knowledge and skills in a variety of individual and team-based engineering contests and activities. Divisions for the challenge include aerospace, bicycle, computer, electric energy, engineering, lawn tractor, robotics, small engine, tractor and welding.

Illinois' delegates include Liam Buchanan of Maquon in Knox County and Daniel Cassida of Villa Grove in Douglas County who will both compete in electric energy. Two delegates will compete in welding, including Ethan Fitzwilliam of Mason in Effingham County and Drake Sanders of Buckley in Iroquois County. Haden Smith of Wayne City in Wayne County will compete in the tractor division.

Participants were selected based on their outstanding exhibits at the Illinois State Fair or their participation in the State 4-H Tractor Operator's Contest, said Bill Million, University of Illinois Extension state specialist who coordinates the Illinois delegation to the Challenge.

"While at the Challenge, members will be tested on their general knowledge in their specific area and make a presentation based on their exhibit," Million said. "There will also be opportunity for the team to compete in a scholastic engineering bowl."

The challenge is also a learning event for the 4-H members, families, and coaches. Industry tours of businesses near West Lafayette allow youth to get a better understanding of the specific project area they are competing.

The Illinois 4-H Foundation provides financial support for Illinois' Challenge team.

Source: William J. Million, Extension Specialist, 4-H Youth Development, wmillion@illinois.edu

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