4-H Holds STEM Night on Ocean Science at CCC&TI

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Caldwell County 4-H held a STEM Night on ocean science on October 13 in collaboration with Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute to excite youth about science, technology, engineering and mathematics. It was for youth ages 8-14 and was held at the Hudson campus.

During the event, participants completed three activities that taught them about connections between nature, the ocean and humans. They were all developed by a team of educators and oceanographers in the Department of Marine Sciences and the Department of 4-H Youth Development at Rutgers University.

Participants learned about ocean robots, which collect various types of data for scientists, and built models. They experimented by adding and removing weights and then ballasting their robots in water-filled test tanks. They also looked at real data sets to explore how scientists use water temperature, patterns with ocean life and salinity of the water to study our world.

Will Perry works to ballast his ocean robot model during 4-H STEM Night on October 13 at CCC&TI. Ballasting involves adding or removing weights to vessels to change their buoyancy.

Will Perry works to ballast his ocean robot model during 4-H STEM Night on October 13 at CCC&TI. Ballasting involves adding or removing weights to vessels to change their buoyancy.

Another activity used an ocean-inspired board game to teach youth more about aquaculture, climate change, technological innovation, human impact on oceans and the ocean ecosystem.

Volunteers and participants gather around an ocean-themed board game while an augmented reality video clip plays. The board game included ocean trivia and shared about challenges scientists encounter when studying it.

Volunteers and participants gather around an ocean-themed board game while an augmented reality video clip plays. The board game included ocean trivia and shared about challenges scientists encounter when studying it.

Lastly, they made posters about an issue scientists are actively studying through observing the ocean and patterns and what people can do in their everyday lives to help.

Six CCC&TI students, working on education and science courses, volunteered during the 4-H STEM Night. David DeViney, who is an instructor and coordinator for science programs at the college, said he enjoyed seeing students and CCC&TI connecting with the community through the STEM Night.

This is the third consecutive year 4-H  has hosted a STEM celebration in October, but it is the first time it has been done in conjunction with CCC&TI. Previous years’ themes were “Mars Base Camp” and “Galactic Quest.” Both were related to space exploration.

To learn more about how youth can participate in 4-H STEM programs, like STEM Night or the Circuit Breakers 4-H Club, contact 4-H Agent Sarah Kocher at sarah_kocher@ncsu.edu or 828-757-1258. Families can also visit the 4-H and N.C. Cooperative Extension website at caldwell.ces.ncsu.edu.

4-H is for ages 5-18. Caldwell County 4-H is a proud member agency of United Way and enthusiastically supports its partnerships.

Sarah Kocher is the 4-H Youth Development Agent with CN.C. Cooperative Extension, Caldwell County Center. N.C. Cooperative Extension, Caldwell County Center, 120 Hospital Ave. NE #1 in Lenoir, provides access to resources of N.C. State University and N.C. A&T State University through educational programs and publications.