WSU 4-H to lead new nat’l 4-H Science Program

PULLMAN — The WSU 4-H program is one of eight states selected to pilot a new 4-H science program, called Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) – A Digital Storytelling Project. In the project, 4-H youth will create short films that explore science in their communities and enter them into a national contest.
“We are excited about the opportunity to move forward with digital storytelling experiences for Washington youth,” said Janet Edwards, SET liaison for Washington 4-H. “The 4-H Network News team lead by Pamela Roberts in Jefferson County has put filmmaking by youth in the headlines since 2006.” This project will engage youth in the exploration of the science involved in timely and important issues in their urban communities. Filmmaking will be a powerful way for youth to express what they have learned about key issues and what they believe can be done at community and personal levels.”
Pamela Roberts, Jefferson County 4-H educator, Kate McCloskey, WSU Spokane County 4-H program coordinator, along with Jefferson County 4-H youth Hannah Tipton and Tyrus Wilcox, participated in the kickoff project at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Md., Oct. 14 through Oct. 16. At the event, youth discussed numerous public issues including water quality, industrial pollution, urban forestry and wildlife habitat, and renewable energy sources and technologies.
The project leadership team includes 4-H educators in Spokane and Vancouver who will partner with community organizations, including the Boys and Girls Club, to involve youth in the production of six to 10 short science films between now and August 2010. The teams will identify and research the science involved in issues in their communities, document it through film and deliver presentations to groups of local leaders and decision makers. At the end of the program, WSU 4-H will showcase the efforts of the youth by screening their films and selecting the top three to enter a national 4-H science film contest. Youth will use new resources available on the 4-H Filmmaking Workshop and Studio website:
The program is serving as the pilot project for a new 4-H initiative, 4-H SET in Urban Communities, and will help develop professional development resources for local 4-H professionals working in urban communities. The eight pilot sites are Atlantic City, N.J., Baltimore, Md., Denver, Colo., Indianapolis, Ind., Houston, Texas, Murfreesboro, Tenn., Pontiac, Mich., and Spokane and Vancouver, Wash.
SET in Our Community — A Digital Storytelling Project and the 4-H SET in Urban Communities initiatives are funded by the Noyce Foundation. The Noyce Foundation is a sponsor of the National 4-H Science, Engineering and Technology Program to prepare one million young people to excel in science, engineering and technology and expose them to a multitude of potential SET careers. Through new 4-H SET clubs, camps and after-school programs, innovative curriculum and SET training for 3,500 4-H professionals and 500,000 volunteers, Noyce Foundation is helping 4-H build a pipeline of our nation’s future scientists and engineers.

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