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.
- Stop Motion Animation Challenge: Learn how to plan and make a stop animation film using a free app.
- Bread Science Challenge: Learn about the basic chemistry at work in baking bread (and enjoy the treat you make).
- 3-D Printing Design Challenge: Learn to use Tinkercad to design a useful object that could be 3-D printed.
- Bird Identification Challenge: Learn to use your observation skills to spot and identify birds.
- Plant Observation Challenge: Learn about and record seasonal plant changes from your own yard.
- Bridge Building Challenge: Build and “bust” bridges out of paper, building bricks or Popsicle sticks.
- Junk Drawer Mechanics Challenge: Design and build your own moving vehicle with junk drawer and household items.
- Paper Roller Coaster Challenge: Design and build a paper marble maze coaster.
- Rube Goldberg Challenge: Build your own chain reaction contraption with supplies from around your house.
- Animate a Name Challenge: Explore the world of Scratch coding to create a cool animation project using free software.
Click on a challenge above to get all the details or find them all in our 4-H At-Home STEM Challenges folder.
News and Highlights
More 4-H Experiences
Thanks for another great year!
This fun, challenging annual event tests bridge-building prowess, and encourages math, engineering, design & teamwork skills! Bridges are judged on both structural efficiency & aesthetics. Read about the 2020 Bridge Bust event and results.
Next Contest in 2021. Check back in Fall 2020 for details.
Here's how you can join the fun each fall!
1. Put together a team. (See more info below)
2. Sign up online by the deadline.
3. Try out a workshop.
4. Pick up your kit.
5. Plan & build a bridge.
6. See you on Bust Day!
7. Win cool stuff!
All teams need at least two members. Competition categories include:
- Youth teams (ages 10 and up)
- Family teams including adults
- School teams (5th to 12th grade)
Non-competitive option* (for groups with youth ages 5-9)
- *This demonstration opportunity is intended to give younger students the opportunity to practice engineering and design skills, with the option to conference with judges and/or break their bridge as a demonstration only. Teams may include 1-2 adults and any number of youth between ages 5 and 9 only. Learn more online about this option.
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? Contact one of our local team members below or contact your local office:
2020 Science & STEM Showcase
Science fair projects don’t have to be stuffy or boring! They can examine almost anything a student has an interest in, from slime to music to a certain situation involving deflated footballs. The third annual Community-Wide Science & STEM Showcase is a wonderful way for youth to explore the world around them, and experience all the benefits of a science fair or STEM demonstration project. These fairs promote more than science; they also encourage organization, communication and public speaking skills.
With that in mind, 4-H has teamed up with Parkview Christian Academy again to host the 2020 event in April. Open to youth in grade levels 4 to 12 from DuPage, Kane, Kendall and surrounding counties, students may choose to do a STEM demonstration, or a science project that follows the Scientific Method. Doing an experiment using the Scientific Method helps students understand the process of question, hypothesize, test, observe, analyze, and conclude. This is instrumental in both critical thinking and problem solving, even outside of science. Judging will occur as face-to-face conference on April 16 with a special showcase and awards ceremony. All participants will earn a blue, red or white ribbon based on their own project work meeting requirements, and each will have the opportunity to earn one of multiple special recognition awards. In addition, the top Science Fair entries will earn a fun technology prize!
Student informational packet available mid-February.