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4-H National Youth Science Day

National 4-H STEM Ambassador, Joshua Rodgers, and youth participants conducting the Incredible Wearables Challenge.

October 2017 will be the close of Arkansas’ National 4-H STEM Ambassador, Joshua Rodgers’s term. Rodgers of Howard County, was one of six ambassadors from across the country.  He spent the last three years participating in National Youth Science Day and other STEM events. This year, National Youth Science Day, or NYSD, was conducted at PS 21 elementary school in Brooklyn, New York. The one-day event began with a “pep rally” of famous scientists including a NASA astronaut and former 4-Her. Joshua’s role included facilitating youth in the “Incredible Wearables” challenge. Students in small groups were given a challenge in which they had to create a wearable fitness tracker that accurately tracked steps, heart rate and pulse. Some difficulties that the youth faced were: design of the tracker, securing it to the body and making sure the tracker was logging accurate data. One member of each group was the “athlete” who participated in aerobic activities and wore the tracker; the other group members were responsible for design or data collection. After the first trial, the groups were able to optimize or redesign the trackers, before completion of the challenge. The ambassadors also met with donors from Lockheed Martin, Hughes Net, Google, just to name a few. Unfortunately the National STEM Ambassador program will not be renewed for the following year, however I was assured that the National 4-H Council will continue working with the donors to provide STEM activities for 4-Hers around the country.  –Kaycee Davis, Howard County agriculture and 4-H agent