October 22, 2019
Lincoln, Neb. — Nebraska youth will join others around the world in the 12th annual 4-H National Youth Science Day (4-H NYSD) challenge from 4-5 p.m., Oct. 29. This year’s challenge, Game Changers, is designed to teach young people computer science skills through four engaging hands on activities.
4-H NYSD is an annual program that provides access and opportunity for kids everywhere to take an interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) by participating in a hands-on STEM challenge. Youth conduct the challenge at thousands of local events in all 50 states, and in countries around the world, throughout October.
This year’s challenge was developed by Google and West Virginia University Extension Service. Game Changers teaches kids ages 8-14 how to use computer science (CS) to create games, solve problems and engage with topics they’re passionate about. The challenge uses physical activity and puzzles to teach kids important CS concepts and problem-solving skills, creating real-world connections between computer science and civic engagement, healthy living and agriculture.
Nebraska's headquarters for the challenge is at Raising Nebraska in Grand Island. The space is designed to allow visitors to see agriculture from virtually every angle -- from water conservation to soil health, from animal well-being to food safety, from invention to innovation, from economic impact to global hunger. Approximately 10 sites from across the state, ranging from Chadron to Superior, will interact with the group via video conferencing. Other youth in 4-H clubs, school enrichment settings and after-school groups will complete the challenge throughout Nebraska during the month of October.
“Nebraska is a big state. That’s why we decided to use technology to bring experiences in computer science to rural programs all across the state,” said Saundra Wever Frerichs, extension assistant professor of science education. “In 4-H, we work hard to be innovative and creative in how we teach STEM. Today we’re using games and technology to learn about computer science, agriculture and technology in a way that is fun and impactful.”
All youth are invited to participate in the challenge. Additional information, including how to register, can be found here.
Engineering design challenge kits are for sale here. Each kit comes with all the materials necessary for 10 youth to complete the challenge, including instruction booklets for both youth and adult facilitators.Tracy Pracheil
4-H Youth Development