PA 4-Hers join nationwide experiment for National Youth Science Day

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Youth across Pennsylvania recently completed a simultaneous wind-energy experiment, joining hundreds of thousands of young people around the nation in demonstrating the world of alternative fuels and discussing how they can make a difference in their home towns.

The 4-H National Youth Science Day was established to combat a nationwide shortage of young people pursuing science college majors and careers by sparking youthful interest in science and science education. This year's National Science Experiment, "Wired for Wind," explored how to engineer renewable energy technologies and have a positive impact in communities across the country.
 
Pennsylvania 4-H State Council officers conducted the experiment at Penn State's University Park campus with several Centre County 4-H members. "Wired for Wind" participants also will lead discussions about alternative energy with university wind-energy researchers and in their communities.
 
Dennis Calvin, director of Penn State Extension, also attended, along with Christy Bartley, state 4-H program leader; and Susan Stewart, wind-energy researcher in Penn State's Department of Aerospace Engineering and Architectural Engineering.
 
"Engaging youth early in scientific exploration has been shown to spark a lasting interest in the sciences," said Bartley. "Science often can seem intimidating to young people, but 4-H National Youth Science Daymakes science fun, real and accessible. Kids will learn about cutting edge technologies and then take the next step by applying what they've learned in their own communities."
 
Through its "One Million New Scientists, One Million New Ideas" campaign, 4-H has a goal of engaging 1 million new young people in science, engineering and technology programs by 2013.
 
As part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Cooperative Extension System and administered by the nation's land-grant colleges and universities, 4-H has been educating youth in the sciences for more than 100 years. 4-H National Youth Science Day takes place every year during National 4-H Week. More information is available at http://www.4-H.org/NYSD.
 
Currently, more than 5 million youth across the nation take part in science, engineering and technology programming year-round through 4-H. Research indicates that youth who participate in 4-H are more likely to get better grades in school, to seek out science classes, to see themselves going to college, and to contribute positively in their communities. In addition, 4-H youth have been shown to better resist peer pressure and are less likely to engage in risky behaviors.
 
4-H is a youth-development program of 6 million young people across America learning leadership, citizenship and life skills, administered in Pennsylvania by Penn State Extension. More than 100,000 Pennsylvania youth between the ages of 8 and 19 participate in 4-H projects, activities and school-enrichment programs in subjects ranging from animal, plant and environmental sciences to photography, nutrition and citizenship.
 
More information about Pennsylvania 4-H is available online at http://extension.psu.edu/4-h. To learn more about 4-H locally, find your county office of Penn State Extension online at http://extension.psu.edu/extmap.html.
 
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Last Updated October 10, 2011