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4-H Grows Curiosity

Today is 4-H National Youth Science Day (NYSD) – a day dedicated to engaging kids with science through a hands-on science experiment. This year’s experiment – Motion Commotion – will be conducted by thousands of kids across the nation as they will learn about physics, speed and safety.

4-H has been fostering curiosity about science in youth since the very beginning. Today we are still dedicated to providing the hands-on experience in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) to give kids the life skills they need to succeed today and the career readiness to succeed tomorrow. Programs like 4-H NYSD offer youth an opportunity to learn about science in a fun, dynamic way and spark their interest in all areas of STEM; from animal science to aerospace.

Motion Commotion is a two-part experiment that investigates the physical and human factors of motion using toy cars to simulate a speeding car collision and distracted driving. During the experiment, youth will:

  1. Construct a simulated runway to analyze the speed, momentum and kinetic energy of a car in motion, and explore the science behind the car’s collisions
  2. Lead an experiment that uses the same physics principles to demonstrate the consequences of distracted driving
  3. Apply what they have learned about physics and safety to create community awareness about issues like distracted driving, seatbelt safety and helmet safety.

The 4-H NYSD Experiment Kit contains everything you need to successfully complete the Motion Commotion National Science Experiment. The Motion Commotion science experiment kit can be purchased from the 4-H Mall, or contact your local UF IFAS Extension Office to see if a kit is available to check out for your club or classroom.

You can help 4-H grow curiosity in your community or school by becoming a 4-H volunteer. 4-H offers a wide range of opportunities for volunteers to share their science-related interests and passions. Together, we can grow the next generation of science literate workers, voters, and community activities! Visit for more info.

Other places to get information:

Rockets to the Rescue!

NYSD 20144-H National Youth Science Day (NYSD) is a great opportunity to engage youth in 4-H Science. Each year, National 4-H Council announces a National 4-H Science Experiment. NYSD is October 8th, but the experiment can be conducted anytime. This year, youth will be tasked with the same mission: in light of the recent natural disasters such as Typhoon Haiyan, National 4-H Council is asking youth to design and build an aerodynamic food transportation device that can deliver a payload of nutritious food to disaster victims. Youth will learn engineering concepts, develop math skills, learn about nutrition and help solve a relevant, global issue.

You can purchase a pre-made experiment kit from the 4-H Mall, or you can make your own for less than $10.00. All of the supplies can be found at your local hardware or big box store. A “how-to” video shows you how to set up and facilitate the experiment.  A word of caution- the video shows youth jumping onto the launcher with both feet- this weakens your launcher and could cause youth to lose their balance. We recommend that youth only stomp on the bottle with one foot.

Experiment guides for volunteers and youth can be found online for free. If you register your event online, you will get access to three more activities that you can do with your kit. For teachers who lead in-school or afterschool 4-H clubs, this experiment achieves many of the common core science standards  There are several contests and prizes for clubs, teachers, and youth. Many of these contests offer cash prizes or gift cards. To find out more, visit the NYSD website.

We would love to know how you and your youth benefited from this program.  Please complete the evaluation for volunteers, and share the link for the evaluation for youth with your club members.

How do you plan on celebrating NYSD this year? Share your photos and ideas on our District Facebook and Twitter!  Also, make plans to join us on October 20th for Make a Difference Monday at 7/6 central. Dr. Dale Pracht will be sharing how to create safe environments in our 4-H clubs. If you cannot make our live presentation, it will be archived along with this month’s presentation at