PULLMAN, Wash. – Young people around the nation, including dozens in Washington state, will take a hands-on approach to addressing U.S. energy concerns as part of National 4-H Week, Oct. 4 -10.
Several Washington counties will participate in the 4-H 2009 National Science Experiment, “Biofuel Blast,” on Oct. 7, according to Janet Edwards, WSU Spokane 4-H after school specialist.
“The experiment this year is building on that enthusiasm for youth to be scientists and explore the use of biofuel as a solution to our growing energy needs,” Edwards said. “The hands-on experiment gives youth an opportunity to observe chemical changes and have dynamic discussion about the use of alternative fuels.”
The biofuel experiment is not the only way area youth are taking part in 4-H learning experiences.
Edwards said the state will be sending a team of youth and adults to Washington D.C. in October to participate in training for a digital storytelling project. “Washington is one of just two states in the West selected to participate in this exciting project,” Edwards said.
This year’s science and technology events build on a national effort started by 4-H to increase science, engineering and technology literacy among school-age children in the U.S. One goal of that initiative is to prepare 1 million new young people to excel in all three areas by 2013.
Last year’s National Science Experience dealt with water conservation and water contamination. Christina Murray, WSU Pierce County 4-H program coordinator, said it definitely piqued youth interest in science.
“The experiment sparked an interest and curiosity in science with the youth while they practiced life skills such as critical thinking and problem solving,” said Murray. “They discovered solutions to take care of our planet by conserving water and preventing groundwater contamination.”
4-H is a community of 6 million young people across the country learning leadership, citizenship and life skills.