4-H members get ready for National Youth Science Day

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 17, 2015

Youth in Rowan County will join hundreds of thousands of youth across the world in the eighth annual 4-H National Youth Science Day (4-H NYSD) experiment. This year’s experiment, called “Motion Commotion,” will combine a speeding car collision and a distracted driving demonstration in a simulated activity that investigates the physical and human factors of motion.

Rowan County youth will conduct the two-part “Motion Commotion” experiment on Tuesday, Oct. 6, at 6:30 p.m. at the Rowan County Agricultural Center, 2727 Old Concord Road, where they will use everyday materials — including a toy car, modeling clay, ruler, calculator and cell phone — to explore physics in the real world.

In the first phase, youth will build a simulated runway to analyze the speed, momentum and kinetic energy of a car in motion, and will explore the science behind the car’s collisions.

In the second phase, they will lead an experiment that uses the same physics principles to demonstrate the consequences of distracted driving. This event is open to youth in fourth through 12th grades.  To register, call 704-216-8970 by Friday, Oct. 2.

4-H NYSD is the world’s largest, youth-led science experiment. The national rallying event for 4-H Science, 4-H NYSD is an interactive learning experience that gets youth excited about science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), and spotlights the many ways Rowan County youth are engaging in 4-H science programs year-round.

The 2015 activity was designed by Oregon State University Cooperative Extension in partnership with Vernier Software & Technology and selected as the winning experiment for the eighth annual 4-H NYSD.

In addition to the event in Rowan County, youth will conduct the “Motion Commotion” experiment at hundreds of local events taking place nationwide. National 4-H Council will host the flagship national event, with hundreds of youth participating in the experiment on Oct. 7 in Washington, D.C. The national sponsors of 2015 4-H NYSD are Hughes (HughesNet satellite Internet), Lockheed Martin and U.S. Cellular.

A recent longitudinal study conducted by Tufts University, “The Positive Development of Youth: Comprehensive Findings” from the 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development, revealed 4-H programming does, indeed, get young people more connected to science.

According to the study, 4-H’ers are two times more likely to participate in science, engineering and computer technology programs during out-of-school time (grades 10-12) and 4-H girls are two times more likely (grade 10) and nearly three times more likely (grade 12) to take part in science programs compared to girls in other out-of-school time activities.

Every year, youth complete more than 5 million 4-H science projects in robotics, agricultural science, rocketry, wind power, environmental science and alternative energy. To learn more about 4-H NYSD, visit www.4-h.org/nysd.

4-H, the nation’s largest youth development organization, grows confident young people who are empowered for life today and prepared for a career tomorrow. For more information on the 4-H program in Rowan County, contact Sara Drake, 4-H Extension agent, at sara_drake@ncsu.edu or at 704-216-8970.

The 4-H program is the youth education program of North Carolina Cooperative Extension, based at North Carolina State and North Carolina A&T State universities. More than 232,000 young people ages 5 through 18 participate in North Carolina 4-H activities each year with the help of more than 20,500 adult and youth volunteers.