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4-H gets STEM grant to mentor underserved youth

By Betsy Fradd, WSU Extension

stem-4-H-80SPOKANE, Wash. – A new grant will bring more science education to youth in Washington state. Children and teens in five counties and three tribal nations will have increased access to a wide variety of STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) activities along with more opportunities for youth/adult partnerships.

“The projects will bring hands-on learning to more than 500 youth and 120 mentors in some of Washington’s seriously underserved neighborhoods,” said Janet Edwards, Washington State University Extension 4-H STEM specialist. “The opportunity to work with a caring adult gives youth an added boost to increase their academic successes and their relationship skills.”

Ferry-County-students-on-the-Colville-Confederated-Tribes-perform-a-science-experiment-350The grant, for just over $291,000, will continue existing Tech Wizard projects in Pierce, Kitsap, Klickitat and Spokane counties and add a new one in Ferry County. Youth and adult mentors will work together in areas including robotics, photography, working ranch horse, archery and other shooting sports.

Tribal projects in Rock Creek in Klickitat County, Colville in Ferry County and a new project in Whatcom County with the Nooksack tribe will offer opportunities for all family members to take part. The Youth and Families with Promise projects focus on tribal culture and planned activities around Family Night Out events.

The mentoring program is a partnership between National 4-H Council and the U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. In its fourth year, the program is designed for youth to explore diverse skills and adventures. The grant is funded December 2013-January 2015.

Learn more about 4-H youth development at



Janet Edwards, WSU Extension 4-H, 509-358-7867,

Betsy Fradd, WSU Extension communications,, 253-241-5043

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