STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math)
Crawfordville, Florida – The newly formed Wakulla 4-H STEM Club kicked off the 2018-19 program year on Saturday, September 8 at Wakulla High School. Approximately 20 students, many accompanied by parents, enjoyed two hours of hands-on science learning led by 4-H Club leaders Chris Stearns and Jo Ann Daniels.
Wakulla County School District Superintendent Bobby Pearce expressed his appreciation and support for the partnership with Wakulla 4-H, “I am thankful to our 4H program for providing a pathway for our students to continue to access challenging STEM opportunities after the school day ends,” he said.
Meet Mr. Stearns, A Proven Teacher Leader
“Mr. Stearns is a proven teacher leader and strong advocate for STEM based programs within our school district, “Pearce added. “School Board member Jo Ann Daniels is tireless in her effort to support our students through her mentoring and volunteer efforts. The parent involvement in this program will pay dividends in the future as our students progress
through our school system.”
STEM Meets First Saturday of the Month
Now through May 2019, the club will meet on the first Saturday of the month in the Engineering Academy classroom at Wakulla High School. The club is open to all Wakulla youth ages 5 to 18. Each participant must register through 4honline.com to participate.
During the first club meeting, the students learned some basic principles of engineering while constructing catapults and small race “cars”. Parents and children alike were engaged in building. Designs were modified to achieve desired results amid laughter and smiles over the course of the two hour session.
4-H The Nation’s Largest Youth Development Organization
4-H is the nation’s largest youth development organization. Over 230,000 members in Florida help to comprise the community of more than 6.5 million young people across America.
4-H is a non-formal, practical educational program for young people. Florida 4-H is the youth development program of Florida Extension Service, part of the University of Florida Institute for Food and Agricultural Sciences.
The Florida 4-H Youth Development Program uses a learn-by-doing approach and caring adults to help youth gain the knowledge and life skills they need to be productive, responsible citizens.
To achieve its mission, 4-H accesses the expertise and resources of the University of Florida and a nationwide network of Extension Service faculty and staff alongside dedicated community volunteers.
Volunteer club leaders and University of Florida IFAS staff work together to plan activities which meet three primary program areas, or mission mandates; science, citizenship, and healthy living.
Dr. Rachel Pienta, UF/IFAS Wakulla County 4-H Agent
Wakulla 4-H agent Rachel Pienta expressed her appreciation for club leaders Daniels and Stearns, “Florida 4-H relies on dedicated volunteers like Jo Ann and Chris to fulfill its mission to help youth gain the knowledge and life skills they need to be productive, responsible citizens,” she said.
Wakulla High School Principal Mike Barwick added, “Mr. Chris Stearns is an excellent Engineering teacher who works extremely hard to take our students to the next level.”
According to Pienta, “Adult volunteers play an important role in the 4-H program. They mentor 4-H youth, coordinate local community clubs, and help to plan and run events. Without the hours given to youth development by volunteers, it would be a challenge to offer the high quality programs that are the hallmark of the 4-H organization.”
For more information about the Wakulla 4-H STEM Club and other 4-H opportunities available for area children, please visit http://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/wakulla/4-h/ online. 4-H Agent Rachel Pienta can be reached at 850-926-3931 or by email at email@example.com.