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Stephenson County 4-H - Brings STEM activities to the Pearl City Middle School

kids building kite

FREEPORT, IL. – Creative thinking, hands-on problem solving, critical reasoning—these are just some of the skills seventh and eighth-grade students at Pearl City Middle School used on Friday, February 17. Staff from the University of Illinois Extension and Pearl City Middle School Science teacher, Kim Lorig,  provided four different STEM activities for students to engage with throughout the morning. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. This curriculum gives students the opportunity to actively participate while learning. Students were separated into four smaller groups and rotated through completing the different STEM activities. These included kite-making, no-drip diaper activity – which taught about an ag by-product, drone discovery, and making ice cream from the snow!

“Critical thinking and reasoning are such important life skills for youth to be able to utilize and apply throughout their lives. Our Extension staff tried to fine cleaver activities that required the kids to use critical thinking and problem-solving in such a disguised way that the kids were solving issues while having a ton of fun,” says Brenda Heimann, Stephenson County 4-H, and Youth Development Program Coordinator.

For more information on 4-H and Youth Development in Stephenson County, contact Brenda Heimann at 815-235-4125 or by email at

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Illinois Extension leads public outreach for University of Illinois by translating research into action plans that allow Illinois families, businesses, and community leaders to solve problems, make informed decisions, and adapt to changes and opportunities.