4-H Volunteer Training Tuesday: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM)
[Intro Music] Welcome to our October Training Tuesday for volunteers. I'm gonna welcome you all this evening and thank you for joining us. We do have Christine Wood who's gonna talk a little bit more about the science, engineering, technology, and mathematics resources that we have for you as 4-H volunteers and to use in your community, and I would encourage you all to use on the chat box and use the tools that Christine's going to use tonight to help be engaging throughout the conversation. So thank you, Christine, and I'll let you take it over from here.
Thank you, Jenae. Good evening, everybody. So tonight, we're going to talk a little bit about some of the STEM resources that are available to you as volunteers and to your county 4-H professionals. Just to start the night off, if you all would like to use the annotation tool at the bottom of Zoom, you mark where you are located at, so we can kind of get an idea of who all is here. So, you can click that annotation tool and get- either draw a spot, or use a stamp. Mark your location. Awesome, thank you guys. Now, if it'll let me move my next slide, there we go. So, I am Christine Wood. I am the 4-H science, technology, engineering, and math field specialist. I am housed in the Sioux Falls Regional Center.
I have been in my position for a little over eight years, close to eight and a half years. And I know a lot of times in 4-H world, we get bogged down with the nitty-gritty, and sometimes we forget why we do what we do, and why we're involved in 4-H. And so, I just wanted to give you guys a quick glimpse into why I am passionate about 4-H, why I'm passionate about science education, and then I'm going to ask you guys to kind of think about your passions and what makes you excited to be 4-H volunteers and to give back to 4-H. So, my big "why" currently are my three kiddos. I have a 9-year-old, a 7-year old, and a 2-and-a-half-year-old, and I want them to grow up and have the 4-H experiences, but I also want them to grow up in a community that has strong leaders that have good problem-solving and critical thinking skills, which are some of the things that we develop through our STEM programming. I myself am a product of the South Dakota 4-H Program. I went- I- I grew up in Tripp County, and I was in 4-H there. My sister
started in 4-H when I was probably three or four, so you could say I was in 4-H from the time I was four until I graduated from high school. And when I graduated from high school, I originally thought I wanted to school- go to school to be a teacher. I had a science teacher and a math teacher tell me that that maybe wasn't what I should go into, because the prospects of teaching were- were not the greatest, and they convinced me to go to school to be an engineer. So, I attended South Dakota State University, where I received both my bachelor's and my master's in engineering. And during that time, I became very aware of what the culture in a STEM career looked like, and how male-dominated it was. And so, I spent much of my time doing outreach to encourage underrepresented
groups to pursue STEM degrees and working with different programs to build STEM confidence and competency within both educators as well as youth. So, when I graduated with my master's degree, and the only engineering prospect I had was something that wanted me to move every six months, as a mom of a one-year-old and being married to another engineer, that wasn't something I wanted to do. And so, I kind of fell into the position that I have now, where I got to continue on working with engineering and helping engineers and scientists communicate out what they do and helping educators be able to ... inspire our next generation of leaders. So since my time in 4-H, ... I have spent a lot of time doing robotics and engineering training for staff and volunteers. I've worked with our ag science programs, I've worked with numerous NASA programs, and our water and climate curriculums, which I think Catherine covered during last month's training, and so those are some of the- the big projects that I've worked on over the last eight and a half years.
And, I've also been very involved with our Women in Science Programs across the state of South Dakota. Very involved with the one in Sioux Falls, of course, but all eight of them. I am a Click2Science certified trainer, and so I have access to all of the Click2Science tools that can be used to train volunteers, can be used to train after school, as well as our 4-H professionals, in how to facilitate science. And most recently, I have been working with the South Dakota Afterschool Network on our Mobile Maker Program, which will now be available to 4-H programs, and I'll get into a little bit more in depth here in a little bit. So now that you kind of know what my "why" is and some of the things that I have been working on, I am going to give you guys some different polls to kind of see where you guys are at. To ... access those polls, you can either text with your phone, or you can, if you have a second browser, you can go to polleverywhere.com. ... And so, if you are using your phone, you'll text christinewoo271 to 37067,
and that will give you- enter you into the poll, so then for the next few slides, you can enter. Just send them directly to that 37607, or if you open your browser, that is what you will send. And I think Janae will put that in the chat box for you. So, why do you as volunteers do 4-H? What are some of the things that drive you to be a 4-H volunteer and to inspire and work with youth every- every day? So, if you want to text some of the reasons that you do 4-H, or enter them into the the website, they'll populate here. Some of the people this morning noted giving back, building the community, youth themselves, and tradition as some of the reasons, and if- if those are ... similar reasons that you have, you can enter them a well- again as well ... and it'll just make those words a little bit bigger. And focusing on why, especially as hard as maybe the last 18 months has been, really helps keep yourself motivated and is why I wanted to open with this, is knowing your "why" makes it easier to keep moving forward.
And so, I encourage you to to go back and look at your "why" every once in a while, and it makes it easier to- to keep going and working towards making things positive for our youth. Okay, so then the next thing: have you facilitated STEM activities in the past? This isn't a right or wrong answer, it's just a- just curious as to where everybody is at. So, when it comes to facilitating STEM activities, what do you see as the biggest challenge that you face as a volunteer or educator? The- the group this morning bounced back and forth between confidence and knowledge, and that is really common to have those two things be the biggest hindrance with facilitating STEM.
Money is a pretty big one as well. We'll actually talk about a new resource that will be available to you guys that can help with that too. Okay.
Sorry my ... screen is- there. Doesn't want to move forward. Okay, so for those of you who have facilitated STEM activities, what types of stem activities have you done in the past? Robots is a pretty common one. Chemistry, baking. Botany, that's a good one. That's one that I don't see very often.
Kitchen science. Awesome. So, the- the numbers of activities that you can do are pretty infinite, but you can kind of see, based on your guys' inputs, robots is the one that probably has been covered the most, and the other ones are maybe one or two people here or there.
Okay. Go ahead. And so then, what- if- regardless of whether you've done STEM activities in the past or not, what type of STEM activities would you like to try and do with your youth? It could be something you've tried and maybe want to do again, or something that you've never tried before. Makey Makeys are fun. ... I actually have a couple in my office that I haven't used a ton, but those are some really cool ... gadgets to play with.
So, whoever wants to do the Makey Makey, maybe you should email me, and maybe we can touch base and figure out what we can do to help you get Makey Makeys going. Rocketry, that's a pretty traditional one. Hands on, using STEM to get meetings started, coding. Awesome. Thank you guys for helping populate these. We've got some really good feedback. So, the first thing that I want to share with you is a brand new resource. It actually just went live last week, and so very few of our 4-H staff have even seen this.
We have a new website. I'm gonna have to stop sharing, I think, to get that shared. Jenae, can you see the website? JENAE: We can. Thank you. So, this is our new 4-H STEM website. It is embedded in the extension.sdstate.edu website. It is- it just launched on Friday, there's a few things that need to be tweaked on it, and it will grow over the next year, or that is my hope anyway. But when you come to this website, the very first segment is activity- "Activities to Grab 'n' Grow." So, did any of you
attend State Fair and go through the exhibit hall when we had our STEM activities center on Friday? If you did, can you type a one in the chat box? Okay, so it doesn't look like anybody got to go through the activity center, but we kind of gave a preview of the STEM on a Dime component during the activity center at State Fair. We had several Grab 'n' Grow Ziploc bags of activities for kids to take and make at home, and all of the lessons that they got to take and make are within the STEM on a Dime section. So, we currently have this many lessons written; however, it is our goal to continue to build this throughout the year. Right now, they're very circuit and electronic based, primarily because we wanted to make the activities at State Fair pretty fun and flashy. But overall, they're very inexpensive activities to do. This first one is a brace- basic bread board.
And this activity is a modification out of the junk drawer robotics. Tt's simplified a little bit for people who are a little overwhelmed with junk drawer, but we also have a section in the lesson that gives you some activity prep guidelines, so if you want to adjust it for younger audiences, or if you're limited on time, it gives you some preparation ideas that can help you facilitate that with your youth. ... And so, each activity is built similar to that. This is a circuit bug, which is a little bug that is built with a clothespin, some LEDs, and wire, and then decorated with pipe cleaners.
and then we have basic catapults, which is really just a basic, basic catapult; however, at the end of the lessons, we have tried to give you an extended learning option. So, if your kids get really interested in an activity that you do, there's some other activities that are related that they can then explore, or for this activity specifically, we refer to the juncture design trebuchets and some additional catapult activities that are a little more advanced for your older kids. Each activity also has the recommended ages, so like 6 to 18, so you could use this for your Cloverbuds. And these ones are
light-up chromatography flowers. So, you're doing chromatography as well as electricity. And we've tried to include pictures to help guide you through the lessons as you go forward, so you can use these for your own use to facilitate the lessons, or you can give them to your kids to kind of walk through step-by-step as well. So this is a resource that we've really just been working on the last three to four months. This is all we've gotten done so far, but hopefully over the next several months, we'll be able to add more onto this section that is STEM on a Dime. And, there will also be more lessons that aren't just electricity-based ... but this is what we started with. We will probably have some other STEM lessons added here eventually, but we wanted to focus on that STEM on a Dime, because we know that it can be expensive to do some STEM activities, and so we wanted to focus on those that really are only going to cost you maybe three to five dollars or less per use, and that way you're not buying a ton of materials. With the LEDs and motors,
you can buy those in bulk on Amazon. I don't think we put links in the PDFs, but if you want to know where to purchase those, you can always ask me. And then additionally on this website, we wanted to highlight some resources that we know have quality STEM activities, so that you guys don't have to Google or Pinterest a ton of activities. You know you can come here and find some quality
items. So for example, this How to SMILE website is one of my favorite places to direct 4-H staff and Afterschool staff to, because it has an amazing search engine. When you come into the search engine, it allows you to pick the material cost per youth, it allows you to pick your ages, the amount of learning time that you have, so if you are doing this for a club meeting, say you have 30 to 45 minutes, you can select that. You can select your subject, and it filters all of the lessons that it has in its website and allows you to select from there. So it's an amazing place to go and find some really cool activities that, you know, are quality for your youth. Another really good resource are these Discover 4-H guides from the University of Utah.
So, University of Utah and some other states do a lot with SPIN Clubs, or special interest groups, and so these guides are set up for those SPIN Clubs. If you come in, I'm not going to download them right now, because you have to go through and request them, and then they email them to you ... but if you were to get this archaeology one, you would have six lessons for- anywhere between five and eight, I think, lessons all related to archaeology that you can use for themed club meetings, or a day camp, or anything like that. There's specific guides just for Cloverbuds, so let me scroll down a little bit, so there's a cake decorating one, even fitness, ... here's a Cloverbud citizenship one. We have communication and expressive arts for Cloverbuds. So, there's a ton of different resources that Utah has put together. I haven't been through
all of them, but the ones I've used have been really good. They have Harry Potter-themed ones, and the list goes on and on. So that's an amazing resource, that's part of the reason it's on this website for you guys. For those of you who are really interested in engaging in that engineering, this Design Squad Nation is one of my favorite sites. So this is a PBS Kids website,
and they have tons of engineering design projects that you can pull from. A lot of times, they'll have little stories with them too. So they'll have little videos, maybe a story about a little boy and little girl, and give them a challenge based on that. So there's some really cool things built up on Design Squad Nation. But those are all available on this website for you guys to filter
through and kind of take a look at at your own time. ... Like I said, there- there's some of them are 4-H specific, some of them like Design Squad- well, most of these on this side are not 4-H based, but they have some amazing STEM lessons for you guys. And then, at the very bottom of the website, we have three PDFs available for you guys. Some of them are gonna be more applicable to certain people over others. This first one is an engineering design graphic. So, many of our 4-H
clubs that do robotics have used this graphic in the past to help guide their youth as they design their projects. And so, we wanted to make sure that everybody had access to this graphic, you can print it or just have it up on your screen when you're doing engineering design. And then, if you go back, this "Selecting Quality STEM Activities" walks you through different things to think about as you're looking through activities to make sure that they're quality. This is more for our educators that are going into Afterschool, but it's definitely something that, if you're not comfortable picking activities, you can come in here and see what maybe you need to be doing as you're- you're looking activities.
And that's not just for STEM. That could be for any topic area that you can use this for. and then the final piece is this "STEM Hotsheet." I know there are some counties that have reached out to me in the past because they're applying for grants for specific STEM materials and otherwise, and so this hotsheet is put together so that you guys have access to different verbiage that defines what STEM is, what the goals of the statewide 4-H STEM programming are, what the engineering and science practices are, and then we've also related it back to the South Dakota 4-H outcomes, so we have our leadership, our life skills, workforce, and social components. So if you guys are working on grants, you can come in here, pull some of that verbiage, and it's available to you to be able to do that. Now if you want additional help with your grants, you can always reach out as well, but this makes it readily available to you if I'm not available when you need that assistance. So that is our new 4-H science website.
Like I said, you guys are some of the first people to see the website. I've emailed it out to our staff earlier today, but I don't know how many of them actually saw that. So now, I will go back to our PowerPoint.
JENAE: Christine, we did have one quick question in the chat ... about the average time it takes JENAE: to complete those STEM on a Dime activities. So, most of them are going to be 30 minutes or more with the ones that are currently on there, and that's mostly because with the electronics piece, especially with your younger kids, there's some hand-eye coordination pieces with getting the wiring to connect appropriately and things that way. Now, that doesn't mean we won't put some up later that take less time, but the ones that are there right now are approximately 30 plus minutes. Were there any other questions on that website before we move forward? Okay, so I will keep moving on. So, the next thing I wanted to share with you guys are some resources that are available for you to check out. ... I think Katherine last week talked about the water rocks kits,
as well as the climate kits, that are available. These materials are going to be similar to that where you can contact myself or Katherine and be able to access them. So earlier today, I didn't actually have the materials in front of me to show, but I put them on a slide to make it easier. So this top left corner, we have some Squishy Circuits.
They are essentially Play-Doh that you have a conductive dough and a resistive dough, a battery pack, and lights, motors, and little speakers. And you can have your kids build circuits with this Play-Doh. It's a really good activity for Cloverbuds, but it's also something that your middle school and high school kids can use. I do have, I think, three sets
of Squishy Circuits in my office right now. They're all housed in Sioux Falls. Hopefully, as things progress, we'll be able to get some housed on the western side of the state as well. The bottom left are the little Ozobot robots. So, anybody who has gone through the education center at the State Fair ... during the last probably four or five years, you've probably seen the little robots. They're little line followers that can be used to teach coding. They're awesome for getting our Cloverbuds excited about robotics and about coding, but they're also great at teaching our high school students how to code. So the robots read color, and
based on how you draw your lines, and things like that, you can instruct your robots or your Ozobots to do different things like speed up, slow down, spin, all types of different things that way. So I do have several sets of those. currently they're all in Sioux Falls, but those are available to you or your 4-H professionals if you want to have them at fairs, or if you want to do day camps, different things like that. In this top center, we have our Lego Mindstorms NXTs. We have several of these that are available for checkout. We've had some clubs check them out
and use them for, you know, three to six months, we've had some after school programs use them. At any given time, these are available for you guys for an introductory to robots if you just want to do a day camp, or if you want to do some longer, extended programming with a special interest group. You just need to reach out and let us know. The big thing with the Lego Mindstorms, up until 2019, we had been doing training two or more times a year on the Lego Mindstorm platform. We will not be doing training anymore, for the simple fact that anything that I would teach you, you could find a YouTube video that would teach you way more than I could. ... And so for the sake of time, we will not be doing that anymore; however, we are more than happy to provide you with the resources and help you navigate that information that's online, if you are interested in getting into the Lego Mindstorms. The other reason for that is Lego has officially retired
the ... EV3, which is this model right here, so as of July, they will no longer make these robots ... and so we're not sure what will happen as Lego moves forward. In the top right, we have our Lego WeDo robots, and those are the Cloverbud Lego robots. I have- I think I have four of these in my office, and you can have your little Cloverbuds build little things like this alligator and learn how to code it to make it open and close its mouth, make sounds, and different things like that. Once they get comfortable with that, you can even put sensors in their mouth, so that when they sense your fingers or something in it, the crocodile or alligator snaps down on your fingers. And so those are really engaging for those Cloverbuds and getting them interested in coding, as well as robotics.
And then, these aren't necessarily for checking out, but I wanted to make sure that you are all aware of the food science pieces that are available. We get pretty technology and engineering heavy sometimes, and so I want to make sure that everybody is aware of the food science, for those that are interested. In the bottom right, we have the What's on Your Plate curriculum. The majority of our 4-H professionals have gone through training related to What's on Your Plate, but that curriculum covers everything from the purpose of gluten, to why your fruit turns brown, and how ... you manipulate sugar to make different types of candy. And it's- so it's a really thorough ... food science curriculum. It is a little advanced, so it's not something that you would necessarily use for your 8-year-olds, but your 12, 13, and up would be age appropriate for that curriculum, unless you're really comfortable watering down some of the content for those younger kids. With that curriculum we've also
historically done a pasta lesson and had youth learn how to make their own pasta from scratch. Especially with that gluten piece, so they make pasta with different levels of gluten, and we do have pasta makers in Sioux Falls and in Rapid City that you guys can utilize for doing those lessons. The other curriculum that I wanted to highlight related to food science is the food preservation curriculum. And I wanted to highlight this because food preservation has become more and more popular, over the last year specifically, but we also have a Master Food Preserver Volunteer Program. And we have had one or two, actually, contact the Sioux Falls office and say, hey, we would love to be connected with kids and help teach some of this food preservation. And so,
we want to make sure that you guys are aware that this curriculum is out there if you do have people that already teach food preservation, but there's also a potential that we might be able to connect you with somebody who's gone through Extension's Master Food Preservation process and would be willing to work with you and your kids. So those are the food science pieces that aren't necessarily for check out, except for the pasta makers, but I wanted to to highlight for you guys tonight. Do you guys have any questions on those before I get into the next piece? Thank you for adding that, Jenae. Okay. So then, the next thing I want to talk to you guys about are the Think Make Create Mobile Labs. So this is a partnership between South Dakota 4-H and the South Dakota Afterschool Network.
Last year, the South Dakota Afternoon School Network was able to purchase two mobile maker labs. They recently just purchased a third, and so I've been working with them to manage their content, their professional development, and the distribution of their mobile maker labs throughout the state. The mobile maker labs are a 7- by 14-foot trailer that has everything that you could think of to create a maker space ... a low-tech maker space, mind you, it doesn't have the 3D printers and all that stuff. We- with the weather the way it is in South Dakota, we can't have technology exposed to those extremes. But, we do have a ton of other things, so this is what it looks like on the inside.
There's shelving units on both sides of the trailer, and then we have totes and totes of materials, everything from art supplies, to electronics, to Legos and K'Nex. This next slide, actually, will show you some of the stuff. So we have our Legos and our K'Nex in there. We have some of the larger Legos, too. We have Squishy Circuits, so those Play-Doh circuits that I talked about earlier, in the trailer. We have sewing kits ... so there you can do needlework and different things like that with the trailer . ... We have all kinds of tools, so you can tinker with your youth. ... And then we have a ton of- whoops, a ton of electronic
stuff, so any of the STEM on a Dime activities, the materials for them would be in this trailer. With the trailer, you can set it up where you just set the materials out and let youth tinker and make whatever they want, or you can actually use lesson plans. We have approximately 110 lessons in the trailer, and those lessons are anything from using Perler beads to code, to the chromatography flowers, to various engineering design processes. And so that is all built into the mobile maker space. It's something that you guys can have for day camps, you can use it during your county fairs. We have three trailers and, ideally, we will have 4-H and community partners working together, so for example, if you would like to have it during a day of your county fair, it would be at your county fair for that day, but then the rest of the week, it might be at a library, or an out-of-school program, or something like that.
So, it's getting used the full time it is in that community. And we're not moving it every week, but it's staying within a community and giving youth multiple touches with that maker space. Currently, to access the maker space ... you are required to complete a training.
It's currently set up so that it's through Traininghouse, it's a three-hour training, it's currently designed so that our after school programs that can use it, that three hours counts towards their 10 hours of PD for the year. So, if you are partnering with an after school program, and they're helping you facilitate, you can go under their training, or if your 4-H staff member has gone through training, it can work that way too. But it is required that somebody that's facilitating has gone through that training before you are able to use the TMC. And after the first year, that
training will probably look a little differently. We're working on some multi-state partnerships, and so that training will be rewritten after the first of the year. Are there any questions about that? So, one of the questions was about the wire that's in the trailer. So the biggest challenge ... with wire is getting a gauge that youth can manipulate, but also is easily stripped by wire strippers. So the gauge wire that is in the trailers it- that is shown in this picture is a 28 gauge wire. And so, it's hard to strip sometimes, if you don't have the appropriate wire stripper.
However, if we back off to, say, an 18 gauge wire, it gets- it's really easy to strip, but it's really hard for small fingers to manipulate. And so, it's a balance between having something that youth can manipulate and having something that's easily stripped, and so sometimes, we just have to find different wire strippers. In the trailer, there should be wire strippers that are capable of stripping that 28 gauge wire. But I think that- that has been the- the biggest challenge, is- the- this multi-colored wire is Cat 5, and that's a 28 gauge wire, where if you get a doorbell wire, that's an 18 gauge, and I have adults that can't manipulate that 18 gauge wire, because it's just too stiff. And so, it's hard to find something that are 8 to 10 year olds can manipulate but it still strips easy, so there's a trade-off there. I don't know if that answers the question about stripping the wires.
The big thing is making sure that your stripper is capable of stripping whatever gauge wire you have. And I think in those lesson plans for STEM on a Dime, it does recommend the 20- I think it says 22 gauge, but 22 gauge can sometimes be hard to find. ... I know when I went to Lowe's and Menards before State Fair, I could not find it. It was something I had to order from Amazon. They readily had the 18 gauge, but that's harder for those kids to manipulate, so it's a trade-off.
So then the next thing that I just want to make you all aware of is ... if you and some of the volunteers in your community would like to have some professional development done ... you can always reach out to me. I do a lot of professional development with our after school programs. I spend a lot of my time right now with the 12 Dimensions of Success. This is probably a little more advanced than what these 4-H volunteers would necessarily want, but we are [INAUDIBLE] a quality STEM environment or educational environment in general. And then, we also use a lot of the Click 2 Science content as well, because I am a DoS certified observer and a Click 2 Science trainer, but that doesn't mean those frameworks cannot be used to help you facilitate engineering, or rockets, or something like that.
So, we can always chat about what your guys' needs are, and maybe ... set something up that way too. The one other piece that I want to touch base with you guys tonight, is Jenae has sent- set up a survey requesting volunteers for event and education committees. On that question pro, there is a STEM event and STEM education option. If you are interested at all in helping just decide and discuss what South Dakota 4-H science events and education look like moving forward, I would love for you to fill out that question pro. We are currently in the process of trying to decide what happens with our robotics and engineering competition.
And, our science of ag competition has adjusted itself already, but we would love to have some volunteer, as well as youth input, on that too. And if there's other ideas that are out there, we would love to hear them, so please sign up for that if that is something that you are interested in. And that is all I have, unless you guys have questions for me. [Outro Music]