4-H makes first appearance at Arkansas STEM Festival
By Ryan McGeeney
U of A System Division of Agriculture
Feb. 26, 2016
- 2016 is the second year for the festival
- Fest an opportunity for students to see applications of science in everyday life
(Newsrooms with art: find more photos at https://flic.kr/s/aHskvc9Fmm)
LITTLE ROCK — About a dozen Arkansas 4-H members joined about 1,000 students from around the state Friday morning at the second annual Arkansas STEM Festival, organized by the LISA Academy of Little Rock.
The event took place at the Donaghey Student Center on the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, featuring science projects intended to highlight the academic areas of science, technology, engineering and math. Rick Fields, 4-H Science and Curriculum Coordinator for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, said the festival was designed to be a state-wide celebration of science.
“It gives them a platform to exhibit what they’re doing as 4-H’ers in science, and it gives them an opportunity to get out and experience what their peers are doing, as far as science and discovery throughout the state,” Fields said.
Members of the Craighead County 4-H Robotics Club manned one exhibit, while other 4-H’ers from Faulkner and Pulaski counties exhibited projects that can be found in 4-H science kits used throughout the state.
Rhett Bryant of Jonesboro, 17, attended the festival as a member of the Craighead County 4-H Robotics club. He and other members explained and demonstrated a Bluetooth-controlled robot that Bryant said it took them about five months to engineer and construct.
“It’s given me a lot of lessons in ‘trial-and-error’ learning,” Bryant said. “I’d like to go into engineering, and the club has given me a lot of hand-on experience, putting principles into action.”
Fields, who began his current position in October 2015, said 4-H’s participation in the fair also gave the broader public an opportunity to learn about the organization’s efforts to educate members in the sciences.
“It allows 4-H to ‘get on the map,’ and explore different avenues for science that we haven’t traditionally tapped for publicity,” Fields said. “I just want us to be more visible within these different avenues so that schools will know who we are and what our involvement is in science, so that we can build future collaborations."
For more information on Arkansas 4-H, contact your local cooperative extension agent or visit www.uaex.edu/4h-youth.
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
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Media Contact: Mary Hightower
Dir. of Communication Services
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service