History of 4-H National Youth Science Day

By Kittrina Thompson October 03, 2017

Since 2008, 4‑H National Youth Science Day has engaged millions of youth around the world in exciting and innovative STEM learning and experiences, from wind power to robotics to rocketry. This year, the 4‑H NYSD is celebrating its tenth year, and what better way to commemorate this milestone by taking a look back at the challenges over the years.

Here are the hands-on challenges that helped dub 4‑H NYSD the world’s largest, youth-led science event!

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2014: Rockets to the Rescue

2008: Helpful Hydrogels

In year one of 4‑H National Youth Science Day, youth explored a new superabsorbent polymer – called hydrogels – that can help with water conservation, right in our backyards!

2009: Biofuel Blast

In its sophomore year, 4‑H NYSD explored the production of the biofuel ethanol.

2010: 4‑H20

From one liquid to the next, 4‑H20 allowed youth to participate in a live demonstration of how carbon dioxide builds up in the atmosphere while understanding the importance of water quality.

2011: Wired for Wind

The fourth year of 4‑H NYSD brought a change in the elements, youth learned to design, build out and test two different wind turbine models. Designed by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and University of Nebraska Extension Program, the challenge explored how to engineer renewable energy technologies.

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2015: Motion Commotion

2012: Eco-Bot Challenge

Robots were the main attraction to this challenge, allowing youth to enhance their engineering skills as they learn to think like a robotics engineer with the end-goal of managing an environmental clean-up.

2013: Maps & Apps

In its sixth year, the 4‑H NYSD challenge was a two-part experience! First, youth were tasked with designing and mapped their own community park. Once complete, GIS mapping and layers were used to assess community problems and provide cost-effective solutions.

2014: Rockets to the Rescue

In 2014, 4‑H NYSD took flight in this rocket-powered challenge! Designed by the University of Arizona, youth learn how to develop and test an aerodynamic transportation device that can deliver food to disaster victims.

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2016: Drone Discovery

2015: Motion Commotion

Developed by Oregon State University Cooperative Extension, year eight’s two-part challenge taught youth a lesson in safety. The challenge encouraged youth to investigate physical and human factors of motion, simulating a speeding car collision and distracted driving with toy cars.

2016: Drone Discovery

Drones were the focus of the 2016 challenge, designed by Cornell University Cooperative Extension. Youth learned everything from flight dynamics to safety to flight control.

Click here to learn more about these challenges and how you can relive past 4‑H National Youth Science Day experiences!

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