4-H plans afterschool STEM program

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Rutgers 4-H Youth Development has extensive experience in Design It! and Explore It! projects and is ready to train and equip afterschool organizations to bring this fun, engaging, and inquiry-based STEM program to children at their sites.

By enrolling in a Design It! (engineering) or Explore It! (science) training program, afterschool organizations will receive all of the professional development (three full-day training workshops), curriculum guides, materials kits, and ongoing support needed to implement year-round STEM programming.

These comprehensive and high-quality programs were developed by the Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC) in Boston and the National Partnerships for After School Science (NPASS) through the support of the National Science Foundation. Rutgers 4-H leads the NPASS project in New Jersey.

The Design It! Afterschool Program offers six engineering projects and the Explore It! Afterschool Program includes six science projects.

Design It! topics include Balls and Tracks, Gliders, Paper Bridges, Rubber Band-Powered Cars, Stomp Rockets and Trebuchets. During afterschool programs, youth work in teams to design their project, test it and make adjustments.

Explore It! topics include Cake Chemistry, Heating a House and an Oven, Measuring Ourselves, Sinking and Floating, Siphon Systems and Wiring a House. During these projects, youth work in teams to explore familiar phenomena using simple materials to foster science learning.

Each workshop series includes the professional development workshops (October, January and March), curriculum guides, and materials kits needed to implement engineering and science projects throughout the year in an afterschool or out-of-school setting. In addition, Rutgers 4-H will provide ongoing support and technical assistance to school and community based afterschool organizations who register for the workshop series.

Enrollment is now open for the 2018-19 school year. Online enrollment is due June 15, 2018. For information on enrollment packages visit the Design It! and Explore It! Afterschool Training Program website at https://nj4h.rutgers.edu/stem-training/. For questions regarding the program or enrollment, contact Chad Ripberger, Rutgers 4-H, ripberger@rce.rutgers.edu or 609-989-6830.

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