2016 4-H National Youth Science Day: Looking Back

By _Amaya_Collins_ October 06, 2016

October 5th was a great day for young True Leaders in STEM as students participated in the 2016 4‑H National Youth Science Day (4‑H NYSD). Located at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., students from Maryland, Virginia and D.C. became engineering experts for the day as they had fun with drones. In case you missed it, we’re sharing our favorite moments and photos from the day.

To kick off the day’s events, STEM, government and university leaders and experts gathered for the annual 4‑H NYSD VIP Breakfast, hosted by 4‑H alumna Glenda Humiston, vice president for the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources. During a new a segment of the breakfast, National 4‑H Council presented the 2016 4‑H NYSD national partners, HughesNet, Lockheed Martin and U.S. Cellular, with the Inaugural Spark Awards, sparking an interest in STEM for nearly 100,000 young people annually across the country.

The morning’s featured speakers were on hand to share stories of impact, inspiration and vision. Texas 4‑H youth and STEM Ambassador Francisco Garcia shared his powerful story of perseverance and how 4‑H empowered him to grow and succeed. We were also joined by STEM influencer and host of the Discovery Channel show, Myth Busters, Kari Byron, who shared her passion for science and STEM education. The 4‑H NYSD panel discussion, “Breaking the STEM Barrier: A Youth-Led Perspective,” included STEM experts and advocates with insightful point-of-views on the future of STEM and youth interest. Panelists included:

  • Alexa Maille, New York State 4‑H STEM Specialist at Cornell University Cooperative Extension
  • Elizabeth Dougherty, Director of Inventor Education, Outreach, and Recognition at the United States Patent and Trademark Office
  • Scott Paddy, Product Development Engineer at Ford Motor Company and proud 4‑H parent.
  • Thaddeus Hughes, student at Rose Hulman Institute of Engineering and the 2016 4‑H STEM Youth in Action winner
  • Xavier Harding, technology editor for Popular Science magazine

At the conclusion of the breakfast, attendees joined youth as they performed the 2017 4‑H NYSD Challenge, Drone Discovery. Youth split up in rotating groups to experience the three-part challenge, building their own foam drones and putting them to the test. Youth were also able to get hands-on at the special Drone Zone, with real drones provided by national sponsor DJI.

We were also honored to have two special guests to address youth during the event. U.S. Chief Technology Officer Megan Smith shared her perspective on the importance of providing STEM education and experiences to young people in America. Drone expert Brett Velicovich gave exciting demonstrations of his drones, along with giving away a few drones for the kids to take home.

Youth left with an appreciation and understanding of drones, and how they help solve real-world problems. The event was a success and it’s all because of the tremendous support of our partners, sponsors and 4‑H community.

Check out additional photos, videos and more from the national 4‑H NYSD event and be sure to follow the hashtag, #4HNYSD, for photos from local events nationwide!