4-H Youth Development Program
4-H Youth Development Program
4-H Youth Development Program
University of California
4-H Youth Development Program

4-H Science, Engineering, and Technology Initiative

SET Logo
California 4-H Science, Engineering, and Technology (SET)

The California 4-H Youth Development Program responded to the National 4-H Science Mission Mandate by launching a statewide 4-H Science, Engineering, and Technology (SET) Initiative.

CA 4-H SET Timeline 2007-2014

These efforts aim to develop new and strengthen existing programmatic opportunities for California 4-H that align closely with the new UC ANR Strategic Vision 2025.

The goals of the 4-H SET Initiative are to:

  • improve youth science literacy through educational programming, grounded in youth development and educational practices as outlined in the UC 4-H Youth Development Program Framework, that uses high quality curricula and educators prepared by using research-based professional development strategies
  • support the advancement of the research-base of youth nonformal science education
  • support the implementation efforts through systematic approaches to the development of programs, professional preparation, curriculum and applied research, and fund development.

WHY SCIENCE? 

For Economic Prosperity and National Security
Scientific literacy positively impacts our nation’s economic prosperity and national security. American has a shortage of scientists and engineers to meet future demand.

For a Functioning Democracy
Young people in the United States are the future leaders and voting public who will help shape the state of public policy in the 21st century. In order to take on this role effectively, youth need scientific knowledge, skills, and opportunities to apply these in authentic participation to address important societal issues, including challenges around public health, water quality, agriculture, transportation, communication, and energy conservation.

As Preparation for Life
As the world grows ever more complex and reliant on science and technology, young people will need to be scientifically literate in preparation for the 21st century workforce and in order to be critical consumer of information (and the media).

Low Levels of Scientific Literacy in California and the U.S.

Unfortunately, scientific literacy in the U.S. is undesirably low: California ranks 49th in 8th grade science literacy and only 21% of seniors are considered proficient in science (NCES, 2011).

2012 Wild Side Session 2 023 edited

Youth Learning Outcomes [more coming soon]

Anchor Points
The California 4-H Science, Engineering, and Technology (SET) Initiative takes a focus-on-situations approach to science education with the recognition that science learning is contextualized; persons within a community have unique science knowledge bases; and that each person develops their own science learning trajectory influenced by their unique, personal values and desires.

While the 4-H program advances a long term goal to increase the number and diversity of youth pursuing higher education and careers in science, engineering, and technology fields, it is not our intent to only prepare future scientists. 4-H science programs are designed to help youth see science as a powerful tool to make sense of and construct knowledge about the world; address and think about issues in their lives that involve science, engineering, and technology; and connect learning with real-world situations where youth can adopt and use new science methods or improved technology to solve problems.

Based on the UC ANR Strategic Vision 2025 and a focus-on-situations orientation, the expected learning goals for youth participation in 4-H science programming include four intertwined anchor points.

 

SET Checklist Header
The checklist is designed for use in the planning, development, and evaluation of new and existing 4-H science programs, curriculum materials, and professional development of staff and volunteers. CA 4-H SET Checklist (revised 2014)

Outcomes
Targeted outcomes include enhanced scientific literacy and improved indicators of positive youth development.
I. Youth Scientific Literacy
II. Positive youth development
  • Competence: Positive view of one’s actions in specific areas, including healthy habits, life skills, love of learning, emotional competence, and social skills.
  • Confidence: An internal sense of overall positive self-worth, persistent resourcefulness and self-efficacy.
  • Connection: Positive bonds and relationships with people and institutions including faith-based communities.
  • Character: Respect for societal and cultural norms, possession of standards for correct behaviors, a sense of right and wrong (morality), and integrity.
  • Caring: A sense of sympathy and empathy for others.
  • Contribution: Giving to self, family and the institutions of a civil society.
Learning Environment
Learning experiences facilitated by trained, caring adult staff and volunteers who operate from a perspective that youth are partners in their own development.
Educational practices
Youth development practices
Organization of learning experiences
  • Learning experiences are organized in a sequence (multiple contacts; extended duration) to reinforce one another; concepts build upon one another over time.
Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
Evaluation
  • Learning experiences include opportunities for evaluation.

4-H SET Leadership Team

Photo of Andrea Ambrose Andrea Ambrose
Title: Director Corporate and Foundation Relations
Unit: Development Services
Phone: (530) 750-1346
Email: apambrose@ucanr.edu

 

Photo of Lynn Schmitt-McQuitty Lynn Schmitt-McQuitty
Title: County Director San Benito County & 4-H Youth Development Advisor
Specialty: Youth Science and Technology
County: San Benito County
Phone: 831-637-5346 x 12
Email: lschmittmcquitty@ucanr.edu

 

Photo of Martin H Smith Martin H Smith
Title: Associate CE Specialist, Youth Curriculum Development
Specialty: Science Education; Program and Curriculum Development.
Unit: Veterinary Medicine Extension
Phone: (530) 752-6894
Email: mhsmith@ucdavis.edu

 

Photo of Steven M Worker Steven M Worker
Title: 4-H Science, Engineering, and Technology Coordinator
Specialty: Out-of-school time/informal learning; science and engineering education; community development
Unit: Youth, Families & Communities - 4-H
Phone: (530) 750-1341
Email: smworker@ucanr.edu

 
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Webmaster Email: ca4h@ucanr.edu