Most people think of camp as a break from the fast-paced technological world, but that’s not always the case. With a $10,000 grant from HughesNet, Florida 4-H is introducing technology in a meaningful way across our state this summer! 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.
Next week, Florida Panhandle youth have two camps to choose from: Bots by the Bay at 4-H Camp Timpoochee and Wildlife Camp in Monticello, Florida. During Bots by the Bay camp, youth will learn how to program 3-dimensional printers to print, build and test robots and cars. During Wildlife Camp, youth will learn how technology is used to protect natural resources and grow our agricultural industry. Our goal is to spark an interest in using technology to solve real world problems that affect our food safety and supply, as well as our overall quality of life.
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. This year’s experiment, Incredible Wearables, helps youth explore the world of wearable technology as the design, built and test a fitness monitor. If you have a passion for technology, or simply like to help kids learn, consider becoming a 4-H volunteer. For more information about 4-H, visit our website or contact your local UF IFAS County Extension Office.