4-H Developing Leaders in a “Tech-Y World”

— Written By Mandy Reid and last updated by
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STEM, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, is a program designed to allow for hands-on creativity, designing, problem-solving, building, testing, and reflecting on future builds. As advancements to how we approach STEM education and initiative are on the rise around science, engineering, and mathematics, we’re seeing a greater impact on how we recognize children’s development and understanding of now-vital tech skills, robotics will continue to play an important role.

Schools must more rapidly adopt implementation of STEM-based programs,

2 kids working together

Working together: two minds are better than one!

especially those including programming and coding instruction, particularly as such skills will become more essential than ever before. This is the case due to a specific practical reason: work, and the job market. According to Oxford University, as many as 47 percent of jobs in the United States will become wholly automated within the next 20 years. This will lead to a transformation of labor, and will generate new job opportunities.

From our perspective, in the next decade, robotics will become the next computer industry. For instance, robotic use will continue to become standardized, as robots will aid in processes such as manufacturing, security, and even household chores. To put it simply: this means that education around robotics-led by STEM initiatives- will be even more prominent.

4-Hers came to the N.C. Cooperative Extension office on Tuesday and Wednesday, June 12th and 13th, for a 3 hour STEM class that dealt with the idea of engineering robots and how to code them to do work.

Coding, a new piece of literacy in the world of education, is becoming more popular among our youth.

Learning coding

Learning that coding is a sequence of commands.

Participants learned that coding is a sequence of commands that produces a result, for example moving the robot from one side of the room to the other.

This week during Summer Exploring classes, youth ages 5-14 were able to explore the concept of coding and built robots using LEGO We-Do kits provided by NC A&T. The participants coded their robots to blink a certain color, time it, roll forward, backward, and even add sensors so that the robot would stop once it recognized an object in front of it. Two of our participants built a double robot that was able to pull a trailer of legos across the room!

girl with robot

Building robots wasn’t as easy as they thought! See the pride on this girl’s face as she shares her robot with others.

Our 4-Hers had a blast exploring real-world challenges using robotics to investigate possible solutions. If you or someone you know is interested in joining 4-H, please contact our office 828-757-1257 or via the Caldwell County Center website. We are also on Facebook as Caldwell County 4-H, come follow us. Caldwell County 4-H inspiring an early love for STEM!