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WSU Colville Reservation-Ferry County 4-H Wins National Science Outreach Award

COLVILLE, Wash. — Exceptional promotion of the 4-H Wired for Wind Experiment has garnered WSU Colville Reservation-Ferry County a $3,000 award. The 2011 Toyota Innovation Award for Promotion and Media Outreach recognizes the efforts of youth and adults who sent news releases, developed posters and flyers, and created online awareness to publicize the October 4-H Super Science Saturday event.

Edward Kheel, Keller Elementary teacher Diane Tonasket, Keisha Tonasket and Sadie Merritt test the voltage output of their wind turbine on the Colville Indian Reservation
Edward Kheel, Keller Elementary teacher Diane Tonasket, Keisha Tonasket and Sadie Merritt test the voltage output of their wind turbine on the Colville Indian Reservation. Click image to download high-resolution version.

“This hands-on science experiment helped reservation youth see and understand how science can make a difference in their everyday lives,” said Linda McLean, WSU Colville Reservation-Ferry County Extension Educator. “Our goal is for students to continue to be enthusiastic about science, remain in school, and choose to seek higher education in the scientific fields.”

Over 75 youth participated in an experiment that explored ways of developing sustainable and clean sources of energy. Twenty-five adult volunteers guided youths aged 5 – 16 as they built model turbines, explored blade pitch variables, and read voltage meters to learn how much energy was being produced. The youths also explored biofuel and potato power while also learning about water quality, constellations, fish health, fossils, and chemistry.

The cash award will be used to further enhance the STAR (Science and Technology Across the Reservation) program by purchasing laptops or notebooks to be utilized in future 4-H technology education outreach.

Community partners included AVISTA, Colville Confederated Tribes Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Youth program, Ferry County, Colville Confederated Tribes Fish & Wildlife department, Colville Confederated Tribes Environmental Trust program, Colville Confederated Tribes Conservation District, Stone Rose Fossil Interpretive Center, National Park Service, Lake Roosevelt High School, and Washington State University.

To learn more about WSU Extension Ferry County 4-H and the Colville Reservation please visit http://bit.ly/u54Ick. Details on the 4-H National Youth Science Day are available at http://bit.ly/rRdz0c.

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