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4-H Flash Newsletter- December 2012

Volume 7, Issue 12


December 25- Office Closed
January 1-
Office Closed
January 7 & 14- VOLT Training- Machias
January 13- Public Speaking Clinic
March 9- Washington County Public Speaking Tournament (PST)
March 16- Robotics Expo
March 23- Regional PST-UMaine Orono
April 6 & 7- 4-H Shooting Sports Training-Columbia

The Quoddy Kids

The Quoddy Kids met on November 20th to explore polymers such as hydrogels.  After snacks and some gooey science, the members received some much earned recognition for their 2011-2012 club year:  ribbons, pens, bracelets, drinking cups and premiums for their extensive work in Project Records and Perry Harvest Fair exhibits.  Following the club meeting, Jodie led a tour of the new recycling center and the well established greenhouse and raised beds.  Years of great work between 4-H and the community is evident in Perry!

The Quoddy Kids pose for a group photo.

The Quoddy Kids pose for a group photo.


The Quoddy Kids visit the new recycling center.

The Quoddy Kids visit the new recycling center.


A member of the Quoddy Kids 4-H Club learns about hyrdogels.

A member of the Quoddy Kids 4-H Club learns about hyrdogels.

More youth from the Quoddy Kids work with hyrdogels.

More youth from the Quoddy Kids work with hyrdogels.


Washington County Bulletin Board Items

4-H Shooting Sports Training Coming to Washington County -  Know of any youth who like to hunt or target shoot, or who would like to learn these skills?  Wish we had some 4-H Shooting Sports clubs here in Washington County?  On April 6th and 7th, 2013, 4-H Shooting Sports instructors in the areas of rifle and shotgun are coming to the Pleasant River Fish & Game Conservation Association in Columbia to provide a two-day training for 4-H Volunteers!  This is a LEADER TRAINING, designed to prepare adult leaders to run 4-H Shooting Sports clubs.  Participation does not commit volunteers to lead a club, but rather provides the required training if they choose to start (or assist with) a club.  Interested adults should contact Nicole or Tara in the county office to obtain a volunteer application packet which is required prior to the training (if you are already a volunteer you do not need to apply again).  Registration for this event is required, and the cost of the event is $25 (to cover material such as curriculum and ammunition).   Feel free to call or email Nicole with any questions.  Please spread the word… and mark your calendars!

VOLT Training – VOLT Training will be offered on January 7th and 14th from 6pm to 8:30 p.m. at the Extension office in Machias.  VOLT is our 4-H Volunteer Ongoing Learning and Training course that introduces volunteers to the offerings of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, teaches volunteers more about the 4-H Youth Development program, and informs volunteers of the Maine 4-H risk management policies, procedures and guidelines.  The typically day-long training has been divided into 2 evening sessions to accommodate our differing volunteer needs, including those who work during the day.  Any adults (including parents) who attend more than 3 club meetings or who spend more than 8 hours a year with the club should attend.  [Club leaders: if you know of any parents who need this training, please share this article and these dates with them, thanks!]  Please call Tara to register, cost is free.

Northeast Regional Volunteers’ Forum- If you missed the NERVF, you can view six sessions.  They are available from the website: Just below the date for each of the broadcasts you will see a link to the recording for that date.  Topics include Managing A Club, Diverse Needs, Shared Leadership, Dealing with Difficult People, Dealing with Challenging Parents and Positive Parental Involvement.

Encouraging Science for K-2 – Go to the web for a wonderful article about encouraging Cloverbuds to think like scientists: . Check it out monthly for experiments posted. Children are natural scientists!

Hancock County Winter Sewing Workshop – Hancock County construction judges for Style Revue,
Judy Bragg and Ann Durgin, have
agreed to teach a basic sewing workshop at the Hancock County Extension office. This would include pattern selection, sizing, fitting, layout, cutting, marking, seams, finishes, darts, hems, buttons, pressing, following instructions, etc. Mark you calendar for Wednesday, February 20th, 9:00 am to 2:30 pm – snow day, Thursday, February 21st. Please bring a brown-bag lunch. Call Joyce at the Hancock Extension Office at 667-8212 or 1-800-287-1479 to register. We need a minimum of 10 people committed to this to make it worthwhile.

4-H Public SpeakingPlease find your 4-H
Public Speaking Announcement below. We want to encourage you to get a jump on planning your presentation this year. Consider picking your topic before the New Year so you can dive right into preparing and practicing once the holidays are past. Don’t miss the 4-H Public Speaking Clinic on Sunday, January 13th, from 2 pm to 4 pm at the UMaine Extension office in Machias — fun for young and old alike! Look for more tips, reminders and information on the 2013 County and Regional Public Speaking Tournaments in the January Newsletter.

 4-H Demonstrations and Illustrated Talks – What are they anyway?

4-H Public Speaking Clinic – Sunday, January 13th, 2pm to 4pm

Washington County Cooperative Extension Conference Room

For ANYONE!  — 4-H Youth, Volunteers & Supporters

Come to learn new skills or to brush up on old ones!

Presented by Lisa Reilich, 4-H Youth Development Professional

With the ringing of the New Year, it will soon be time to get up in front of your family, friends, club, class and/or community and give your 4-H demonstration or illustrated talk! For some of us, that can sound a little scary – even for me, and I have been getting up in front of people and talking or presenting for quite a long time.

Did you know that the average person spends up to 50% of their waking time either speaking or listening? 70% of American adults say they fear public speaking. These adults also report fearing public speaking (41%) more than death (18%). 4-H alumni who participated in 4-H Public Speaking when they were younger, come back to tell us that this was their most important 4-H life skill. Don’t worry; YOU can learn public speaking skills very easily. Just like any other skill, the more you work at it, the better you will become – and it’s never too early to get started!

I will be holding a fun and interactive 4-H Public Speaking Clinic at the Washington County Cooperative Extension office on Sunday, January 13th, from 2pm to 4pm.  We will go over what makes a 4-H Public Speaking presentation, how demonstrations and illustrated talks differ from one another – with some live and video examples, try our hand at creating a presentation together, and have you leave with valuable suggestions for helping you, your 4-H youth, or your school group decide on a topic, prepare a presentation and have the courage to get up there and do it!

Please register by Wednesday, January 9th, by calling Tara at the office, 800-287-1542, or e-mailing her at  I hope to see many of you there!


Demonstrations are simply showing and telling how to do something. You explain what you are doing while you work on something you like to do. You’ve seen lots of demonstrations without realizing it. When your mom or dad shows you how to pound a nail, make your bed, or set a table, that’s a demonstration. When your 4-H leader shows you how to transplant a house plant, that’s a demonstration, too. Many television shows also feature demonstrations.

Illustrated Talks are like demonstrations but, instead of working on something while you talk, you just talk and use a variety of visual aids to help you. When your 4-H leader explains the horse breeds and colors by using horse models, that’s an illustrated talk. When your friend explains a family vacation trip and shows you pictures, maps, and souvenirs, that’s an illustrated talk, too.

All of our 4-H youth are invited to prepare a demonstration or illustrated talk for their club or class, and for this year’s Washington County 4-H Public Speaking Tournament, which will be held on Saturday, March 9th.  Youth 9 to 18 years of age who participate in the County Tournament are also invited to participate in the 4-H Regional Public Speaking Tournament to be held Saturday, March 23rd, at the University of Maine at Orono.

Adapted from Knox-Lincoln County & UNH Cooperative Extension materials

Clubs and Schools please let us know what is going on with your 4-H projects and with the 4-Hers. We want to hear from you! Send photos and reports to Tara at, by the 20th of each month so we can be sure to share your news with all our Washington County 4-Hers.

Downeast Region School News

Trenton Elementary School in Trenton and Ella Lewis Grammar School in Steuben are off to a fantastic start for their 4-H year. Both schools took the 2012 4-H National Youth Science Day Experiment’s Eco-bot Challenge! Ella Lewis 4th through 8th grade science students and the Trenton Afterschool youth became scientists and worked together in teams to create a prototype of a robot that
could be used to help clean up toxic spills. Over a two week
period, they built, tested, redesigned and tested their robots.
We have some fantastic young scientists that really know how
to think out of the box. There were great variations on the
original design and some very creative ways to create containment areas. There were even some great unplanned
”mistakes” that led to even more effective clean up of the test
waste site than expected. I can’t wait to see what else they come up with as their 4-H year continues!

Ella Lewis 4-H School Enrichement

Ella Lewis 4-H School Enrichment


Trenton Elementary 4-H School Enrichment

Trenton Elementary 4-H School Enrichment

Maine State News

1. Save the Date for 2013 Maine 4-H Days – Maine 4-H Days will take place July 18 – 21 at the Windsor Fairgrounds, and the State Dairy Show will be on the 20th & 21st. If you are interested in helping to plan next year’s event, please contact Jessy Brainerd at or 581-3877.

2. Market Steers for Windsor and Fryeburg – 4-Hers raising a steer for the
2013 market steer shows at Windsor or Fryeburg Fairs need to send in an Intent to
 Participate Form (Word) by January 3,
2013. We appreciate you completing your paperwork early. Please enroll or re-enroll as a
4-H member early, and send your Intent to Participate form to your county office. The earlier we receive your paperwork, the earlier we can begin tagging animals, and avoiding tagging during the winter months.

3. Invention Convention – The Invention Convention is a statewide competition
that promotes important life and work skills for Maine middle school students.
Throughout the school year, students work to identify and solve problems by using a
systematic approach to innovation. After competing against their peers at a local level,
top students will be invited to attend the state conference where they compete for the
top invention awards. The competition is open to any school offering grades 6, 7, and/or 8, as well as children who are homeschooled. For more information about the Maine Invention Convention, visit or call Angela Marcolini at the UMaine Foster Center for Student Innovation at 207-581-1454, or email

The curriculum will teach and lead students through four steps:

1) Identify a Problem. Students begin the project by identifying a real-world problem through the use of a variety of methods including traditional research and insight mining. They are encouraged to draw from their experiences and learnings to identify the largest and most frequent problems people experience. The problem they choose should not only be meaningful to others, it should also be one they are passionate about solving.

2) Generate Ideas for Solutions. Using the reliable Innovation Engineering® tools and system for idea generation, students create “meaningfully unique” ideas for solutions the problem they identified. A meaningfully unique idea is one that solves a problem in a better, more efficient way. Through the use of the Innovation Engineering® ideation tools, students will have the chance to leverage the diversity of their peers and generate ideas they can get excited about creating.

3) Make it Real. Once students choose the solution they are most excited about, they must begin the process of making it reality. As part of this stage, they make the idea real by articulating it through written concept pitches and creating a prototype. The most important part of this is the documentation of the invention process, which is achieved through an inventor’s notebook and a mock provisional patent application. Rapid cycles of learning should be stressed so students may process their learnings as they happen and make continuous improvements to their idea.

Students are encouraged to learn through research, surveying, and prototyping, and to adapt accordingly as they progress.

4) Present the 3 Ps. Once the student has created their invention, the final step is to present the “three Ps” – Problem, Promise, and Proof. Students must provide answers to the following questions: What problem is being solved? What is the promise the invention can make? Why should customers believe this promise? They prepare to present these answers in oral, written, and visual formats.

Cooking with the Kids

Delicious Decorations

Need a healthy appetizer for a class party or a holiday gathering? Trim a platter with these good-for-you edible ornaments.

Low-fat cream cheese
Water crackers
Colorful veggies (such as peas, diced peppers, carrot slices and broccoli stems)

Spread low-fat cream cheese on water crackers, then top each with colorful veggies

From FamilyFun Magazine

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