Google made quite a splash at the Illinois State Fair.

Rob Biederman, head of Google's Midwest external affairs office, and Jennifer Sirangelo, president and CEO of National 4‑H Council, announced a $1.5 million dollar grant from Google to the national 4-H program to expand nationwide computer science education. The pair made the announcement in the Orr Building on the Illinois State Fairgrounds surrounded by more than 3,000 Illinois 4-H members and their families during the Illinois State Fair.

To say we at Illinois 4-H are happy is an understatement. We're giddy.

To say 4-H at the Illinois State Fair was a success would be an understatement. Stir gently the 3,300+ exhibitors, a national media announcement with representatives from Google and Gov. Bruce Rauner present, perfect weather, an estimated 20,000 visitors to our exhibit area, and I can't imagine a better recipe to showcase what it means to be an Illinois 4-H member.

Google is donating $1.5 million dollars to advance computer science education around the country. Illinois was chosen for the site to make that historic announcement during the Illinois State Fair.

Not many 4-H members can say they've been to the White House—by special invitation. Two members of the Chicago Knights, a 4-H robotics club, can. John Moore of Lincoln Park High School and Lydia Wolfe, Hales Franciscan High School, received the invitation to demonstrate the robot they built for "aerial assist" season.

"The Chicago Knights are a great example of a well-rounded robotics club focused on youth learning critical technical and teamwork skills that will help them succeed in life," said Bob Smith U of I Extension robotic educator.

Dozens of local youth have discovered a way to combine summer fun with learning. They will participate in an interactive activity that challenges youth to use critical thinking and science skills to address an agriculture problem.

Led by Illinois 4-H members, the Fish Farm Challenge activity is part of the 4-H Ag Innovators Experience, presented by Monsanto, which aims to make agri-science relevant and fun for youth.

A group of intrepid middle school investigators, with the help of young scientists from area universities, solved the last of three crimes during their six-week stint as "Library Investigators."

The 12 youth representing six Waukegan schools worked alongside scientists from the University of Wisconsin, Northwestern University, and University of Illinois.

As the competition season for Illinois 4-H robotics clubs draws to a close, several clubs continue their community programs and trainings for younger members. The Techno Ferret 4-H Club has a great video created by their senior 4-H members about what it means to be a member of their club. 

In Macon County, members of the 4-H RoboStorms Robotics Club were part of the Decatur Business Expo. Members of the team demonstrated exciting technology, such as "Makey Makey."

Youth in Macon County now know more about how their food is produced, thanks to Illinois 4-H's Tech Wizards program. 4-H Tech Wizards is a national mentoring program funded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

Robots will take over the ARC this Saturday during the sixth annual Illinois State 4-H BoxBot Robotics Competition. Approximately 300 students within 45 teams from across the state will exhibit their robots and compete against each other.

In addition to the student competitors, University students from the colleges of Engineering and ACES will man booths and present their own projects in the STEM field, according to Smith. The Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab, which focuses on innovation, fabrication and design, will also be there with a 3-D printer.