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

4-H Science Promising Practices

4-H Science in Urban Communities Promising Practices Guide
Created by field professionals, for field professionals. The 200 page, content-rich guide contains promising practices, case studies, and suggested resources in each of 15 chapters. The chapters are organized into three main sections: 4-H Science Core Principles and Program Design; Partnerships, Resource Development, Program Growth and Sustainability; and Staffing, Recognition, and Marketing. The website is full of useful resources including downloadable PDFs, highlight videos, and links to resources and tools.

PRIMING THE PIPELINE: Lessons from Promising 4-H Science Programs

PSA_Lessons from Promising 4-H Science Programs_ FINAL
This report, “Priming the Pipeline: Lessons from Promising 4-H Science Programs,” features case studies of eight promising 4-H Science programs selected through a structured process of nominations and vetting. Program practices are discussed in the following areas: youth outreach and recruitment; staff and science volunteers; professional development; science curricula and pedagogy; youth development and attitudes toward science; partner organizations and resource support; program evaluation; and program sustainability and scale-up.

4-H Science Promising Practices

These promising practice articles are published by the National 4-H Council in their 4-H Science Professional Development Connection e-newsletter.

Promising Practices - Experiential Learning (March 4, 2011)
Martin Smith, Lynn Schmitt-McQuitty, Richard Mahacek, & Steven Worker
A powerful pedagogical strategy for 4-H Science Educators. An essential component of 4-H Science programs is the framing of activities around the experiential learning cycle. Experiential learning provides opportunities for participants to construct meaning through engaging experiences.

Promising Practices - Evaluation (May 11, 2011)
Katherine Heck & Martin Smith
4-H Science programs provide opportunities for young people to learn science content, improve their science process skills, and develop positive attitudes toward science. Evaluations can provide important information about 4-H Science programming, including whether or not, or to what degree outcomes have been achieved; areas necessary for program improvement; and to demonstrate to funders the value of a particular program.

Promising Practices - Professional Development (July 8, 2011)
Lynn Schmitt-McQuitty & Martin Smith
Nonformal education programs like 4-H can play an important role in targeting improved science literacy among K-12 youth in the United States. To be effective, however, these programs require educators who develop a level of competency with respect to science content, process skills, and effective pedagogy.

Promising Practices - Curriculum (October 12, 2011)
Steven Worker & Richard Mahacek
In the 4-H Youth Development Program, curriculum is designed with a focus on the holistic growth of youth members. 4-H National Headquarters defines a curriculum as the “sum total of all intentional learning experiences.”

Promising Practices - SET Abilities (February 3, 2012)
Steven Worker
An essential component of improving youth scientific literacy is offering opportunities for youth to develop and deepen their understanding of science process skills.

Promising Practices - Collaborative Partnerships (August 7, 2012)
Steven Worker, Richard Mahacek, & Andrea Ambrose
We can strengthen and amplify our ability to affect change by working with internal and external organizations towards a common vision. By joining efforts, the strengths of multiple organizations can increase the potential to effect lasting change in the community while building and strengthening the capacity in the participating organizations.

Promising Practices - Fund Development (October 18, 2012)
Andrea Ambrose
4-H has a compelling message and demonstrable impacts that are well aligned with the interests of private funders. However, securing funding from these new sources requires a set of strategies for engagement based on long term relationship building and ongoing investment rather than a singular fundraising approach based on short term gifts.

Promising Practices - Teens as Teachers
Lynn Schmitt-McQuitty
The practice of training 4-H teens to deliver educational content to younger members is a common practice in the 4-H Youth Development Program. Evidence suggests that utilizing teens as teachers in science programs is an effective method for educating younger youth. Utilizing teenagers-as-teachers relies on a foundation of authentic youth-adult partnerships.


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