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Florida 4-H awarded $10,000 sponsorship for summer camp STEM experience

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida 4-H has been awarded a $10,000 sponsorship from HughesNet to introduce youth to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) at two overnight camps, Camp Timpoochee and Camp Cherry Lake, and several summer day camps.

Florida 4-H is administered by the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

As a result of the sponsorship, 340 youth will learn about the engineering design process, and how to use technology and engineering to solve real world issues such as energy, water and conservation.

“We are grateful for the partnership with a technology leader like HughesNet to get more kids interested in how STEM affects our lives and offers great career paths,” said Michael Gutter, UF/IFAS associate dean for Extension and state program leader for 4-H youth development, families and communities. “Camp is a fun way to learn about STEM and a great way for youth to spend part of their summer.”

STEM at Camp is part of a national effort by HughesNet and National 4-H Council to spark youth interest in STEM topics. Florida was one of four states selected to receive a Summer Camp STEM grant. The other states include Illinois, Maine and Virginia. This is the third consecutive year that HughesNet has supported STEM at Camp programs and the first year that Florida has been a recipient of this funding.

This funding is instrumental in enhancing and expanding STEM 4-H programs and helps fill the STEM workforce pipeline for Florida, said Heather Kent, UF/IFAS regional specialized 4-H agent for northwest Florida. “Our summer programs will provide youth the opportunity to learn new technology and apply it to real-world problems,” she said.

In addition to programs at Camp Timpoochee and Camp Cherry Lake, day camp STEM programs will be offered in nine Florida counties during the months of June and July.

  • June 6 and 7, Rockets to the Rescue, Arcadia, Florida
  • June 12 to 15, 4-H Maker Camp, West Palm Beach, Florida
  • June 12 to 16, STEM Explorations during Duval County Camp at 4-H Camp Cherry Lake, Madison, Florida
  • June 16, 21, 23 and July 14, Explorations in Rocketry at the Richardson Community Center, Lake City, Florida
  • June 26 to 30, Robotics and 3D Printing at 4-H Camp Timpoochee, Niceville, Florida
  • July 5 to 7, STEM Explorations, Jacksonville, Florida
  • July 5 to 7 and July 10 to14, Bots by the Bay at Camp Timpoochee, Niceville, Florida
  • July 10 to 14, Wildlife STEM Explorations, Monticello, Florida
  • July 26, Florida, Fish, & 4-H: Engaging Youth in Florida’s Marine Ecology, at the Florida Aquarium in Tampa, Florida
  • July 25 to 27, Marvels of Engineering Day Camp and Engineering Challenge, in Liberty, Jackson, Leon and Gadsden counties. The engineering challenge will take place on July 27 at the North Florida Fairgrounds in Tallahassee, Florida

To register or for more information, contact your local UF/IFAS Extension county office or visit

National 4-H Council and HughesNet are dedicated to sparking youth interest in STEM topics through hands-on, community-based STEM learning. In addition to STEM at Camp, HughesNet works with National 4-H Council to support STEM programs such as the 4-H Youth In Action STEM Pillar award, National Engineering Week and National Youth Science Day – the world’s largest youth-led STEM challenge.

To learn more about Florida 4-H, visit


By: Samantha Grenrock, 352-294-3307,

The mission of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is to develop knowledge relevant to agricultural, human and natural resources and to make that knowledge available to sustain and enhance the quality of human life. With more than a dozen research facilities, 67 county Extension offices, and award-winning students and faculty in the UF College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, UF/IFAS works to bring science-based solutions to the state’s agricultural and natural resources industries, and all Florida residents. Visit the UF/IFAS web site at and follow us on social media at @UF_IFAS.