Youth Explore Environmental Science With 4-H
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Written by Extension Intern Caitlin Luck
This summer, eight youth and four teen leaders participated in environmental science sessions through Caldwell County 4-H’s “Summer Exploring” program. Five sessions covered a variety of environmental topics such as the water cycle, how plants grow, forestry, food webs, and animal adaptations.
Each session held at Redwood Park in Hudson included chances for 4-H members to socialize with one another, participate in healthy living games, and plenty of hands-on learning, encouraging critical thinking. When learning about the water cycle, youth were able to simulate ways water circulates through our ecosystem and understand the importance of water conservation within our environment.
The third session focused on forestry and the various items produced from tree products. Forest ranger Jason Noble, service forester Joe Franklin and ranger Michael Greene with Tuttle Educational State Forest spoke as guests and introduced youth to different career paths available in the forestry industry. They also demonstrated how to measure trees using a range of tools.
Project Learning Tree curriculum, which was the basis for sessions, is a resource that provides educators with tools and training to effectively facilitate a variety of environmental lessons. This resource is easily adaptable for different educational settings and has lessons to peak all interests. Learn more on the Project Learning Tree website.
Families can explore environmental education at home too. Simple activities include taking observation walks by choosing an outdoor location and encouraging youth to create a list of what they see or hear while exploring. After completing the walk, a family can discuss everyone’s findings. If visiting multiple locations families can compare observations and guess why their findings may be similar or different.
4-H builds life skills that help set youth up for lifetime success as citizens within their communities. Practical skills range from goal setting and problem solving to teamwork.
To learn more about 4-H and its opportunities, call the N.C. Cooperative Extension, Caldwell County Center at 828-757-1290, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Caldwell County 4-H is a member agency of United Way, and it enthusiastically supports its partnerships.