Exploring the World of STEM With 4-H!

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As part of an ongoing partnership, 4-H’ers from Guilford and Alamance Counties came together for three days, June 22–25, 2021, to learn about and explore the world of STEM! Youth participated in activities ranging from slime making to LEGO Robotics. They learned about independent and dependent variables in the slime-making activity, aerodynamics as they designed and launched their own rockets, and the magic of plant growth with basil seed germination necklaces. All the while, campers developed interpersonal, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills.

STEM Camp kicked off with an experiment in engineering during The Egg Drop Challenge! 4-H’ers were challenged to craft a device that would enable their egg to
survive a fall from a six-foot ladder. Some chose to focus on absorbing shock upon impact, while others chose to design their device to slow the speed at which the egg dropped. After one trial run, our 4-H engineers were able to put on their problem-solving hats and tweak their designs for optimum egg safety. We saw quite a bit of success as many of our eggs survived their descent!

camper showing their egg design

A 4-H camper explains her design before the egg is dropped.

We certainly aren’t afraid to get messy in 4-H! On day two of STEM Camp, things got a little sticky as 4-H’ers developed and tested hypotheses in the explosive soda geyser experiment! After adding Mentos to their sodas and dodging the resulting spray, youth compared their hypothesized and actual splash zones by applying geometric principles like radius and diameter. For those of you just as curious as we were: diet soda won by a landslide! But the mess didn’t stop there as they mixed up their own “oobleck” and investigated the different states of matter. We closed out day two with an experience in engineering and computer programming with
LEGO Robotics.

campers with soda geysers

4-H campers hypothesize the “splash zone” for their soda geysers.

Our week of STEM camp culminated with a trip to the Greensboro Science Center where we learned about the plants and animals that share our planet. Overall, it was a great time of exploration and engagement in the world of STEM!

Here in 4-H, we learn by doing, and we’d love to have your 4-H’er join us for our next adventure! If you’d like to stay up-to-date with 4-H camps and programs in Guilford County, join our newsletter or follow us on Facebook.