Press Releases

Youth Take on Robotics for 4-H National Youth Science Day

CHEVY CHASE, Md., Oct. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Millions of young people across the nation will become scientists for the day tomorrow, during the fifth annual 4-H National Youth Science Day (NYSD). This annual event seeks to spark an early youth interest in science education and future careers, and to reclaim the nation's position of leadership in scientific exploration. As part of 4-H NYSD, youth will participate in the 4-H Eco-Bot Challenge: the 2012 National Science Experiment at hundreds of local events taking place in all 50 states. (See our online event map for time and location information).

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Designed by The Ohio State University Extension, this year's experiment will introduce youth to robotic engineering concepts as they build a mini robot to clean up a simulated environmental spill. The 4-H Eco-Bot Challenge will provide an opportunity for young people to learn early engineering principles and experience robotics in action. To download a free experiment guide or to watch a demonstration video go to

"Our nation has fallen behind other countries in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math," said Donald T. Floyd, Jr., president and CEO of National 4-H Council. "However, we believe that the solution to this problem lies in engaging youth early and often in exciting, hands-on exploration of timely scientific subjects to demonstrate that STEM isn't scary or intimidating, it's approachable and interesting. 4-H National Youth Science Day is the premier national rallying event for 4-H year-round, out-of-school STEM learning opportunities, which will ultimately help to build the next generation of our nation's scientists, engineers and mathematicians."

In fact, a 10-year longitudinal study conducted by youth development scholar, Dr. Richard Lerner, and researchers at the Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development at Tufts University found that, when compared to other youth, young people involved in 4-H are:

  • Two times more likely to get better grades in school;
  • Two times more likely to plan to go to college;
  • Nearly three times more likely to participate in science, engineering, or computer technology programs, and,
  • Three times more likely to make positive contributions to their families and communities.

Overall, the youth development study found that the advantages of 4-H participation include higher educational achievement and higher motivation for future education.

In past years, 4-H NYSD experiments have tackled a variety of leading-edge scientific topics including; hydrogels, biofuels, water quality and wind power. Currently, more than five million young people across the nation participate in 4-H out-of-school programming, in-school enrichment programs and camps that offer a wide variety of engaging STEM educational opportunities—from agricultural and animal sciences to rocketry, robotics, renewable energy, environmental protection and computer science.

As part of the Cooperative Extension System of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and implemented by the nation's 111 land-grant colleges and universities, 4-H has been educating youth in the sciences for more than 100 years.

To find and attend a local 4-H National Youth Science Day event, please visit our event map.

About 4-H National Youth Science Day and 4-H Science

For more than 100 years, 4-H has been at the forefront of teaching youth about science. Created to combat a shortage of American young people pursuing science college majors and careers, 4-H National Youth Science Day is the organization's national science rallying event that seeks to encourage youth interest and leadership in the sciences.

Currently, more than five million young people across the nation participate in 4-H STEM programming. And, since the launch in 2008 of the One Million New Scientists, One Million New Ideas campaign, 4-H has been working to engage one million new young people in STEM programs by 2013. To date, that goal has been exceeded, with more than 1.3 million new youth participating in 4-H Science programming.

This year's 4-H National Youth Science Day is jointly sponsored by Lockheed Martin, Toyota, Donaldson Filtration Solutions, the Motorola Solutions Foundation, the Walmart Foundation and John Deere. For more information on 4-H NYSD, visit

About 4-H

4-H is a community of six million young people across America learning leadership, citizenship, and life skills. National 4-H Council is the private sector, non-profit partner of 4-H National Headquarters located at the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) within USDA.  4-H programs are implemented by the 111 land-grant colleges and universities and the Cooperative Extension System through their 3,100 local Extension offices across the country.  Learn more about 4-H or find a local 4-H program near you at

SOURCE National 4-H Council