STEM

Windham County Skill-A-Thon

 

By Marc Cournoyer, UConn Extension 4-H Program Coordinator

4-H program coordinator Maryann Fusco-Rollins helps 4-Hers construct scarf marionette puppets using plastic material, beads and string.

 16 4-H members from around Windham County gathered together on Saturday, April 12th to explore STEM through a series of exciting and fun experiential activities.  They participated in three workshops that were facilitated by UConn staff and students.

In the first workshop, 4-H program coordinator Maryann Fusco-Rollins taught participants how to make and operate a scarf marionette.

Members of the UConn Engineering Ambassadors lead 4-Hers in STEM demonstrations

In the second workshop, students from the UConn Engineering Ambassadors led participants through a series of STEM related demonstrations using various household materials such as corn starch and hydro polymers found in diapers.  They also showcased some things that could be done using liquid nitrogen, including freezing a raquetball and operating superconductor magnets along with exploring memory recognition metals.

In the final workshop, members of the UConn collegiate 4-H club led participants in a Jeopardy style game exploring 4-H related trivia called “Are You Smarter than a Collegiate 4-Her?” Kids were split into small teams and had buzzers to signal their readiness to answer questions.  The game show atmosphere was very contagious.

At the end of the event, participants were given the opportunity to share something they learned over the course of the morning that they did not know when they arrived.

 

Mackenzie and Bridget from the UConn collegiate 4-H club lead 4-H trivia challenge. Noelle, Shannon and Colton soak up water and food coloring using hydro polymers found in baby diapers.

UConn Extension 4-H Partners with UConn Engineering Ambassadors

By Marc Cournoyer, UConn Extension 4-H Program Coordinator

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Members of the UConn Engineering Ambassadors share the story of how they chose to study a career in STEM.

Two undergraduate students from the UConn Engineering Ambassadors stopped by the Extension Center in Brooklyn, CT on February 22nd to assist members of the Windham County 4-H Saturday Science club in exploring some of the science required to colonize Mars.

 Participants had an opportunity to create their own make shift filters to purify contaminated water, as well as, explore the science of propulsion through the creation and experimentation of small rockets which use water and sodium bicarbonate to create enough pressure to launch the capsule.

 Members of the club had the opportunity to experiment with various materials to see which would work best in achieving the desired goals.  As small groups presented their designs, members discussed what worked well and what could be adjusted to provide better results. Group members were able to revise their design and retest until they achieved the desired outcome.

 The two engineering ambassadors also spoke about their personal story that led to them becoming engineering students and choosing a STEM related career.

 The Windham County 4-H Saturday Science club meets monthly and focuses on a different STEM related topic each month.  In March they will focus on the science of sound, making musical instruments out of recycled materials.  In April, they will participate in the annual county 4-H STEM Skill-A-Thon.

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  Molly and Bella work on their water filtration system design.
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Club members prepare their capsules to be launched in the sodium bicarbonate rocket experiment.

4-H Saturday Science

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Youth at the 4-H Saturday Science program.

Denise Coffey of the Reminder News covered the first 4-H Saturday Science Program at Windham County Extension:

“The Windham County Extension Center in Brooklyn hosted the first 4-H Science Saturday on Nov. 16. Program Coordinator Marc Cournoyer led a group of youngsters through “Maps and Apps,” an exercise in map-reading and map-making. With nods to technology and Rand McNally, the kids were given a chance to design their own maps.

The program is part of a larger effort on the part of national 4-H to boost the scientific, technological, engineering and mathematical skills and interests of youngsters. “Maps and Apps” was the national 4-H science experiment held for 4-Hers across the country. The experiment on Saturday required participants to use geographic information systems (GIS), global positioning systems (GPS), grid paper and their own creativity in coming up with a map they could call their own.”

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