4-H working to increase reach of STEM education programs, BDN reports

The Bangor Daily News reported on the University of Maine Cooperative Extension 4-H program’s efforts to bring STEM to Maine youth by providing learning materials and support to schools and other community organizations. Since its founding, 4-H has sought to enrich the lives of children through hands-on learning experiences that not only inform them on a topic but give them the life skills they will need as adults, according to Lisa Phelps, Maine’s 4-H program administrator. As technology advances and the need for students to be proficient in STEM studies continues to rise, 4-H is working to increase the reach its STEM education programs have. “Our biggest focus right now is STEM and promoting STEM education,” Phelps said. A growing program offered by 4-H is its STEM Ambassador program, which partners with University of Maine System students across the state who then go into regional school systems to conduct STEM lessons in classrooms or after-school programs, the article states. “We’re looking to increase [the number] of people who have those STEM literacy skills and are looking to go into some sort of a STEM career in the future,” said Laura Wilson, a 4-H STEM Ambassador program coordinator. “It’s just another way of meeting the youth where they are.”