STEM Opportunities for Youth
youth building things, using virtual reality goggles and other STEM activities

4-H programs provide ways for youth to belong to a community, give back, develop independence, and learn what interests them. One of the project areas is STEM (science, technology, engineering & math). In DuPage, Kane & Kendall counties, youth programs promote these STEM skills, as well as leadership, teamwork, communication and more.

Winter 2022-23 | Upcoming programs

Join our interest list to get reminders and additional details on these upcoming events.


Illinois 4-H STEM at Home Challenges

Explore science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) with these fun 10 at-home challenges.


4-H Teen Science Ambassador | Rain Garden | Nutrien Grant


Learn about rain gardens, nitrogen run-off, and the importance of water quality with the 4-H Teen Science Ambassadors of DuPage, Kane, and Kendall Counties. Email our team to have these young leaders present to your group or if you want to get involved!

Watch the videoDownload plant ID guide

4-H Teen Science Ambassadors (grades 6-12)

teen teaching kids about butterflies

From computer coding to environmental science, 4-H Teen Science Ambassadors have the opportunity to learn and lead hands-on educational lessons through 4-H. 4-H Teen Science Ambassadors are a group of middle- and high-school students who study different science, engineering and technology lessons that they then share with children and community members at workshops, science fairs, after-school programs and community events throughout the year. To do this, they receive focused training from 4-H staff and adult volunteers. Through this program, youth build knowledge in the many STEM-related areas, while developing skills in public speaking, leadership, communication, and teamwork. Lessons may feature computers/coding, nutrition, physics, aerospace, engineering, electronics, biotechnology, and environmental science, just to name a few.

Interested in learning more? Join us for the 4-H Science Ambassador - May Training | May 7 | St. Charles.





Ag Innovators Experience 2020 | Water Connects Us All | Resource Center

The 2020 Ag Innovators Experience -Water Connects Us All -will challenge youth to apply STEM skills to understanding how natural ecosystems provide benefits and affect water quality. It also demonstrates the benefits of multiple engineering practices, such as rain gardens, saturated buffers, bioswales and bioreactors. It is sponsored by National 4-H and Bayer.These video lessons and activities are presented by members of the Illinois 4-H Ag Innovators Facilitating Team and 4-H Teen Science Ambassadors of DuPage, Kane & Kendall Counties.

Join us for the 9th 4-H BRIDGE BUST

Test Your Engineering & Design Skills

Join us on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2023, for the 9th 4-H Bridge Busting Competition. This hands-on, challenging program tests bridge-building prowess, and encourages math, engineering, design, & teamwork skills. Here's how you can join the fun:

  1. Put together a team
  2. Sign up online
  3. Pick up your kit
  4. Check out a workshop
  5. Plan & build a bridge
  6. Participate on Bust Day
  7. Win cool stuff

Ways to Participate:

  • Youth Competition Teams (all team members must be ages 10 and up)
  • Family Competition Teams (including adults and youth ages 5 and up)
  • School Competition teams (5th to 12th grades)

You will register once as a team (not as individuals). Teams must have at least two members. Cost is $40 per team.

In December, following registration and payment, you will receive information for Bridge Bust Contest Packet Pick-Up for Jan. 4-6, 2023. Packets include: contest rules, general information about bridge busting and project supplies. On the day of competition, bridges will be judged on their structural efficiency and aesthetics (see packet for details).  

The competition will run approximately from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2023 at Parkview Christian Academy, 201 W. Center Street, Yorkville IL 60560.

Tentative schedule on Bridge Bust Day: (times are approximate and depend on number of participants and time needed to bust bridges)

  • Team check-in begins | 9 a.m.
  • Bridge breaking begins | 10:30 a.m. 
  • Awards ceremony | 12 p.m.

For any questions, contact 4-H Program Coordinator Katie McFarland at (630) 553-5823 or ksm@illinois.edu

If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in this program, contact your local University of Illinois Extension office or event coordinator. Early requests are strongly encouraged to allow sufficient time for meeting your access needs.