The Sun Journal published a photo of 4-H members from Maine with Sen. Angus King during the Citizenship Washington Focus. The national 4-H citizenship and leadership program offers youth the chance to learn about politics and their role as citizens. 4-H is the youth development program of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension.
The latest article in the Bangor Daily News column series “Eat this” focused on a University of Maine-led child food and fitness study called iCook. The project is a five-state, $2.5 million USDA study designed to prevent childhood obesity by improving culinary skills and promoting family meals.
The Bangor Daily News and WABI (Channel 5) included articles on the presence of 4-H members at local fairs. Members of 4-H, the youth development branch of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, celebrated the group’s 100th birthday at the Bangor State Fair and displayed results of hard work at the Northern Maine Fair in Presque Isle.
The Daily Bulldog reported on Franklin County 4-H Camp’s celebration of 100 years of 4-H in Maine. The 4-H program is part of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension.
Ron Fournier, summer camp director of the University of Maine 4-H Camp and Learning Center at Bryant Pond, recently hosted an educational archery session with his wife Dee at the Maine Wildlife Park in Gray. Fournier, who is also a 4-H-certified shooting sports safety instructor for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, told the Lakes Region Weekly the activity is “great, wholesome recreation.”
An article in the Journal of Extension titled “Maine 4-H Afterschool Academy — A Professional Development Opportunity for Out-of-School-Time Providers” stated participants of the Maine 4-H Afterschool Academy successfully learned concepts related to 4-H and 4-H science through a combination of in-person and Web-based education opportunities. The study found 86 percent of the 369 participants in 2011 reported feeling more confident in incorporating science, engineering and technology in their after-school program. The article was written by Jennifer Lobley, Extension educator for volunteer development, and Kristy Ouellette, Extension 4-H youth and family development educator.
More than 100 middle school students from across the state will be at the University of Maine this weekend taking part in the Maine Invention Convention state competition and 4-H@UMaine event.
The Maine Invention Convention is a statewide competition promoting important life and work skills for Maine middle school students, according to the competition’s website.
“The competition challenges students to identify real-world problems they can solve by inventing,” says Angela Marcolini, innovation engineering outreach coordinator and instructor at UMaine’s Foster Center for Student Innovation. “Students are encouraged to focus on the innovation process more than the final product.”
The event is open to any Maine student in grades six through eight and takes the place of a traditional science fair. Throughout the school year, students identify and solve problems by using a four-step, systematic approach to innovation, the website states.
The students compete at a local level to determine who will attend the state competition at UMaine where they will be judged on categories related to innovation engineering, Marcolini says.
Around 80 students from 11 schools, as well as a few who are home-schooled, are expected to arrive at the New Balance Student Recreation Center starting at 8 a.m. Saturday, May 18.
The students will display their projects from 9 a.m. to noon and will be judged during that time. In the afternoon, the students, along with family and friends, will have the opportunity to attend 4-H@UMaine workshops and take a campus tour before the 4 p.m. awards ceremony.
The top three students in each grade will be awarded a medallion, the top winner in each grade will receive a $50 savings certificate from Bangor Savings Bank, and the overall winner will receive an additional savings certificate and two tickets to TEDxDirigo GENERATE, a conference that aims to celebrate innovation and creativity in Maine.
A people’s choice and 4-H choice award will also be given.
The Maine Invention Convention competition is a collaboration between the Foster Center for Student Innovation, University of Maine Cooperative Extension and an Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) Grant from the National Science Foundation through Bruce Segee, UMaine associate professor of electrical and computer engineering.
The event has existed for more than 20 years and was previously run by school departments, Marcolini says. This is the first year UMaine is running the program.
For more information or to request disability accommodations, call Marcolini, 207.408.1993. Information is also available online.
The 4-H@UMaine event is open to students age 12–17 and offers a chance for them to become familiar with college life and what UMaine has to offer. Around 75 students from around the state are expected to attend this year’s event.
Students, who will come to campus at 3 p.m. Friday, May 17, will stay in dorm rooms, eat at dining halls and attend workshops by UMaine professors in a variety of subjects before leaving at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, May 18.
4-H@UMaine began in 2007 and is sponsored by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension with additional funding from the Maine 4-H Foundation and Bangor Savings Bank, according to Debra Kantor, UMaine Cooperative Extension educator.
“We’re very excited about partnering with the Foster Center for Student Innovation this year,” Kantor says.
For more information or to request disability accommodations, call Kantor, 207.474.9622. Information is also available online.
Save the Date! The Maine 4-H Foundation Annual Meeting
May 16, 2013
Buchanan Alumni House – McIntire Room
160 College Avenue, Orono, ME
Luncheon & Presentations 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Highlights include congratulating our 2013 scholarship award recipients, hearing their 4-H stories, and celebrating 100 years of 4-H in Maine.
Please plan on joining us! Details, including how to RSVP, will be shared soon. If you would like to be added to our mailing list and receive an invitation, please e-mail Dana Rickman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Celebrating its 100-year anniversary in 2013, University of Maine Cooperative Extension 4-H continues to offer a series of activities that enrich the lives of more than 30,000 Maine children ages 5–18 throughout Maine each year with hands-on indoor and outdoor experiences. Here is a list of some of the 4-H programs offered in 2013 that could make colorful, educational feature stories illustrating how 4-H broadens life skills and horizons for Maine’s youth.
Robotics Expos — March 16, Machias, and tentatively scheduled in October in southern Maine
Robotics expos include workshops and presentations by college students and professionals who work with robotics. Youths engage in hands-on learning as teams tackle an engineering challenge. Staff contacts: Jennifer Lobley, UMaine Extension educator, Washington County, 800.255.3345; Sarah Sparks, Extension 4-H youth development professional, Androscoggin-Sagadahoc counties, 207.353.5550.
Children, Youth & Families at Risk Grant Project: Sustainable Living Teen Volunteers —
4-H Camp and Learning Center at Bryant Pond and Cumberland County, mid-April-early June. Many of these schools also are Environmental Living & Learning for Maine Students Project schools. The Maine Sustainable Communities Project is an effort to provide Maine teens with knowledge, skills, attitudes and behavior necessary for fulfilling, contributing lives. Sustainable Living Teen Volunteer training for middle school students promotes ecological and sustainable living, and life skills. It also involves service-learning projects. Long-term outcomes of the program for high school students include developing positive relationships with adults in inclusive and safe environments; engaging in their own learning; and experience belonging, independence and generosity. High school and middle school students engage in positive learning experiences in classroom and outdoor settings; learn the value of living sustainably and the importance of community service. The program encourages individuals, families and schools to adopt sustainable living practices that will reduce their environmental impact. Contact Catherine Elliott, UMaine Extension wildlife and fisheries specialist, Orono, 207.581.2902.
Kids Can Grow Programs — April–September
Kids Can Grow is a gardening program for ages 7–12. Through a series of hands-on gardening classes, children learn how to choose, plant and grow vegetables, herbs and flowers; the basics of good nutrition and food safety; how to build and plant a raised-bed garden at home, with materials, seedlings and amended topsoil supplied by UMaine Extension. Children are matched with Master Gardener Program or 4-H volunteers who mentor, assist and inspire them to be home gardeners. Sessions are 10 a.m.–12:30 p.m., April 27, May 11, June 1, July 20, Aug. 17 and Sept. 21. Contact Frank Wertheim, UMaine Extension educator, York County, 207.324.2814.
Maine 4-H Days — July 19–21, Windsor Fairgrounds
In 2012, more than 480 youths, volunteers and parents traveled from across the state to attend the three-day Maine 4-H Days. The program offered more than 60 workshops for 4-H youth, including robotics, rocketry, archery, gardening, cooking, nutrition, forestry and physics, in addition to traditional 4-H livestock experiences. Maine 4-H Days activities are for all Maine youths and their families. This year’s event will include a 4-H 100-year celebration. Contact Sarah Sparks, Extension 4-H youth development professional, Androscoggin-Sagadahoc counties, 207.353.5550.
Tech Wizards — ongoing at the Bryant Pond Learning Center and in Kittery
Tech Wizards offers a variety of service-learning projects and ongoing school support. Two camps scheduled this summer on rockets and robots involve Operation Military Kids and Tech Wizards. Camps at Bryant Pond are scheduled July 21–26 and Aug. 4–9. Tech Wizard training in Kittery is scheduled April 29–May 1. The mission of 4-H Tech Wizards, held both in classrooms and after school, is to engage ages 8–17 in small-group mentoring programs focused on technology. In a previous project, students used submersible robots and tarps to assist with invasive milfoil identification and eradication with a western Maine community lake association. The program is funded by the National 4-H Council and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Based at Bryant Pond, other groups also participate in Tech Wizards in other counties. Contact Susan Jennings, UMaine Extension educator, Oxford County, 207.743.6329.
National 4-H Science Day — October
In Maine, 4-H celebrates National 4-H Science Day throughout October with a designated science project each year in many counties. This year’s experiment will relate to geospatial technologies. 4-H staff members will conduct a specific experiment with 4-H clubs, after-school programs and public libraries. Contact Sarah Sparks, 207.353.5550, for details.
4-H Afterschool Academy — ongoing
The academy focused on 4-H science and youth development has trained 380 after-school providers and reached 15,000 youths. Contact Kristy Ouellette, assistant UMaine Extension educator in 4-H youth and family development, Androscoggin-Sagadahoc counties, 207.353.5550; and Jennifer Lobley, Washington County, 800.255.3345.
4-H and the Lewiston Housing Authority — ongoing
4-H opportunities in Lewiston with the Housing Authority reach underrepresented and underserved youth. This year, the project has expanded to include 4-H science activities. Contact Kristy Ouellette, assistant Extension educator in 4-H youth and family development, Androscoggin-Sagadahoc counties, 207.353.5550.
SciGirls Training — ongoing
“SciGirls” is a PBS Kids television series designed to change how tweens think about STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). SciGirls Training, offered in Maine by UMaine Extension and UMaine’s College of Engineering, integrates inquiry-based STEM instruction with a commitment to gender equity. Educators attending SciGirls Training learn about the latest research for engaging girls and boys in STEM, as well as activities that can put a creative twist on teaching STEM. Contact Laura Wilson, UMaine Extension 4-H science and youth development professional, Orono, 207.581.2971.
Expanded Learning Opportunities — 4-H Camp and Learning Center at Bryant Pond
Throughout the year, Expanded Learning Opportunities STEM programs are offered every Friday at Bryant Pond and every Tuesday and Wednesday at either Bryant Pond or Molly Ockett Middle School in Fryeburg. Supported by local superintendents, principals and teachers, the program involves middle school students partnering with local at-risk youths to engage in experiential learning programs. The program has resulted in decreased school absenteeism, improved grades and more engaged students. Contact Susan Jennings, UMaine Extension educator, Oxford County, 207.743.6329.
Presque Isle’s Channel 8 (WAGM) covered the culmination of the 4-H/Tractor Supply Company’s paper clover fundraising campaign to benefit the University of Maine Cooperative Extension 4-H youth-development program. Del’s Farm Store presented a group of 4-H members a check for $833 to support local 4-H programs and activities.