4-H STEM CHALLENGE

New kit available now. Explore the exciting world of food security with Food for Thought.
Home Programs STEM Challenge

The 2024 4-H STEM Challenge is Available Now!

The 2024 STEM Challenge was developed by 4-H educators from LSU AgCenter, North Dakota State University, Penn State Extension, and University of Nebraska–Lincoln. This year's kit will provide fundamental knowledge on food security, how people are impacted locally and globally, and how youth can co-create more food secure communities.

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Buy your kits on Shop 4-H!

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The Food for Thought kit offers a range of activities designed for individuals or groups and are adaptable for after-school programs, 4-H clubs, classrooms, home use, and more!

  • Food Fighters: This collaborative board game gamifies learning about the global food supply chain. Students work together to secure their town's food supply, making strategic decisions and building teamwork skills.
  • Chew on This: This entrepreneurial challenge encourages students to think critically about food waste reduction. By brainstorming innovative uses for food scraps, students develop problem-solving and design thinking skills.
  • Know to Grow: This hands-on engineering activity introduces students to plant science and controlled environment agriculture. Students design and build efficient growing environments, fostering an understanding of plant cultivation and its role in food security.
Food for Thought Resources

Food for Thought Facilitator Guide
Food for Thought Facilitator Guide
Food for Thought Facilitator Guide – Español
Food for Thought Facilitator Guide – Español
Food for Thought Career Posters
Food for Thought Career Posters
Food for Thought Activity Materials
Food for Thought Activity Materials
Food for Thought Zoom Backgrounds
Food for Thought Zoom Backgrounds
Food for Thought Graphics
Food for Thought Graphics

STEM Challenge Webinar

Learn about the challenge kit, the specific kit activities and how you can use the challenge to enhance your STEM programming.

Coming Soon

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No endorsement by 4-H is implied or intended. 4-H is the youth development program for our nation’s Cooperative Extension system.

Past Challenges

Since 2008, 4‑H STEM Challenge, formerly known as 4‑H National Youth Science Day (NYSD), has been the premier national rallying event for year-round 4‑H science programming, bringing together youth, volunteers and educators from all over the country to complete hands-on STEM activities.

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2023: Power Protectors

Developed by 4-H educators from Cornell University, University of Illinois, Utah State University and West Virginia University, Power Protectors is a collection of three activities that teach kids how to address real-world issues and explore careers in energy.

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2022: Explorers of the Deep 

Designed by Rutgers University, Explorers of the Deep focuses on the mysteries and adventures of ocean exploration—with robots! Young people learn how to use Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) to explore Earth’s Ocean and how it relates to all life on the planet.

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2021: Galactic Quest

Designed by Clemson University, the 2021 4‑H STEM Challenge, Galactic Quest, focuses on important STEM topics ranging from physics and engineering to computer science and space agriculture. Galactic Quest explores the history of humans in space, the technology and resources needed for missions and the obstacles humans encounter in orbit.

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2020: Mars Base Camp

The 2020 4‑H STEM Challenge will explore sending a mission to Mars with the activity, Mars Base Camp. Developed by Google and Virginia Cooperative Extension, Mars Base Camp is a collection of activities that teaches young people ages 8-14 STEM skills like mechanical engineering, physics, computer science and agriculture.