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Illinois 4-H youth take Washington by storm sharing STEM passion

Four teens represented Illinois at the National Science and Engineering Festival in Washington, D.C. this spring. These 4-H science ambassadors, who hail from DuPage, Kane and Kendall counties, manned a water science booth at the popular national event. All of the youth are members of a special interest

4-H club which focuses on environmental science. Participants were Ethan Heidrich, 16, of Oswego, who attends Illinois Math and Science Academy; Oswego High School student Emma Hill, 16, of Minooka; East Aurora High School's Annabelle Pisciotta, 14, of Aurora; and Marisa Zajac, 16, of Warrenville, who attends Wheaton-Warrenville South.

"During our presentation, kids and adults both could see how water was filtered, learn about and see a chemical test on water, learn about macro invertebrates, and the biological tests that determine how healthy water is," said Heidrich. "I love science in general." Hill said. "I love the experiments and the hands-on aspect. 4-H has impacted my future because it has led me towards careers that I want to do." Read their entire story.


Judy Mae Bingman, University of Illinois Extension Marketing and Communications Manager

Judy uses powerful words and photography to tell the Extension story. She is a skilled communication strategist and storyteller with demonstrated success in building teams and creating strong organizational brand identities that deepen Extension’s impact among key audiences, build brand loyalty, strengthen employee talent, and expand public engagement. She is a frequent conference presenter at the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents Conference and helps Extension staff across the nation tell compelling stories.