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 STEM Curricula

National 4-H curriculum

In addition to the suggested curricula below, you can go to the Shop 4-H site to search 450+ curriculum titles. These learning resources are research-based, hands-on, and fun! Use our Shop 4-H link and 5% of your purchases go back to California 4-H.


Animal Science

4-H Poultry Showmanship - National Standard
The National Standard guide for Poultry Showmanship in 4-H. By Francine A. Bradley and Ralph A. Ernst; University of California Cooperative Extension Poultry Specialists, University of California, Davis.


Sheep: From the Animal's Point of View (pdf)

Topic Area: Animal Science | Audience: Youth grades 3-6 | Published: 2014
The Sheep - From the Animal's Point of View Series is a 4-H Youth Development curriculum that introduces youth to many aspects of sheep care.


Swine: From the Animal's Point of View (pdf)

Topic Area: Animal Science | Audience: Youth grades 3-6 | Published: 2014
The Swine - From the Animal's Point of View Series is a 4-H Youth Development curriculum that introduces youth to many aspects of pig care.


Pre-harvest Food Safety in 4-H Animal Science (pdf)

Topic Area: Animal Science | Audience: | Published: July 2014
Pre-harvest food safety is all about protecting the human food supply from disease-causing pathogens, parasites, and other harmful agents. This 4-part curriculum is your guide to leading a 4-H project that introduces youth to principles and methods they can apply in their livestock and poultry projects and in later agricultural work.


 Youth Development through Veterinary Science (pdf)

Topic Area: Animal Science | Audience: Youth grades 3-6 | Published: 2009
The Youth Development through Veterinary Science Series is a 4-H Youth Development curriculum that introduces youth, grades 3-6, to many aspects of veterinary science through experiential and inquiry-based learning. Modules include: 1. Behaving like Animals, 2. Fur, Feathers, Skin and Scales, 3. The Eyes Have it, 4. You've Got to Have Heart, 5. Dem Bones, Dem Bones, 6. Food in, Waste Out, 7. Is your Bird Feeling Blue?, 8. Is your Dog Feeling Down?, 9. Is Your Goat Feeling Green?, 10. Is Your Horse Healthy?, 11. Is Your Snake Sick?


Rabbits: From the Animal's Point of View (pdf)
Topic Area: Animal Science | Audience: Youth grades 3-6 | Published: 2009
Wild rabbits are found on every continent except Antarctica. Domesticated rabbits come in many breeds that vary in shape, size, and color. But what does it mean to be a rabbit? This curriculum introduces youth to rabbits, their behavior, nutritional and housing needs, and appropriate care through hands-on, inquiry-based activities that follow the experiential learning cycle.


Biosecurity image
Bio-security in Animal Science 1 (pdf)

Bio-security in Animal Science 2 (pdf)

Topic Area: Animal Science | Audience: Youth grades 5-10 | Published: 2011
Livestock shows are an important part of 4-H, but members need to be aware of the disease risks involved when stock from different farms come together in one place. This 3-part curriculum teaches principles and practices of livestock health safety. 


Environmental Education

aguapura logo
Agua Pura: Exploring Salmon and Steelhead in California Communities
Topic Area: Environmental Education | Audience: Youth in 4-6th grades | Published: 2010
This 4-H utilized curriculum, AguaPura, is designed to enhance participants’ understanding of salmon and steelhead and the critical relationship these fish have to healthy watersheds. Through a variety of “hands-on” and “heads-on” learning activities, participants are encouraged to explore their surroundings and the connections between salmon and steelhead and the people in their community.


Topic Area: Water Quality | Audience: Youth ages 9-13 | Published: 2009
4-H2O is a project to help youth learn about water quality, water conservation and watershed issues. More information on the project is available at: 4-H2O


4-H Water Wizards
Topic Area: Water Issues | Audience: Youth grades 4-6
4-H Water Wizards is a 12-week science education project teaching students about water and its importance to the planet. Delivered in after school settings, students participate in hands-on learning experiences that encourage inquiry, teach basic information about water, and develop awareness.


SERIES-Nature's Partners: Pollinator Protection (PDF)
Topic Area: Environmental Education | Audience: Youth grades 4-6 | Published: 2007
The Nature's Partners curriculum is just one step toward increasing the public's awareness and sense of responsibility that are essential to a successful conservation program for pollinators. This introductory curriculum focuses on two of the many pollinators as a means for teaching basic concepts about the process and importance of pollination. Bees were chosen due to their primary importance among pollinators and butterflies were chosen because of the interesting and distinctive stages of their life cycle and their intrinsic appeal.


SERIES-Pond Mapping (PDF)
Topic Area: Environmental Education | Audience: Teens lead activities with youth grades 3-6 | Published: 2005
The activities in Pond Mapping are designed to be led by teens with youth as participants that are interested in exploring and learning more about their natural environment. Working together, teens and youth learn to make and use simple surveying equipment to map the bottom contours of a small body of water. Participants exercise their presentation skills by creating a product of their own design to share their research findings with local community groups.


CASEC Water Inspectors
California Aquatic Science Education Consortium
Topic Area: Water | Audience: Middle school youth | Published: 2001
CASEC’s mission became the promotion of, among the people of California, a greater scientific literacy, a more thorough understanding of the value and workings of fresh water and marine ecosystems, and an enhanced awareness of scientific, environmental and policy aspects of California water issues.



TechXcite Logo
TechXite: Discover Engineering
Topic Area:
Engineering  | Audience: Middle School | Published: 2010
TechXite provides activities across a wide range of technologies in order to offer opportunities for middle school students to explore aspects of engineering that are most exciting to them. Modules include topics of biomedtech, wireless communication, and solar energy. Future topics are expected in architecture, digital imaging, gis/gps, and transportation.


Plant Science, Agriculture, and Gardening

SERIES-It Came from Planted Earth (PDF)
Topic Area: Plant Science | Audience: Youth grades 4 - 6 | Published: 2006
"It Came From Planted Earth" provides activities using the scientific process and discussions to gain a better understanding of agriculture. It has been extensively pilot-tested as a useful tool in helping elementary students to begin to gain knowledge about agriculture and its application in the real world. Each session provides hands on activities for youth to explore agriculture from the beginning seeds to the foods we eat to the importance of water and soil to production. Further exploration is given about current issues in agriculture from biotechnology to integrated pest management to urban-rural interface. The session outline provides an overall purpose and background material. Then, each activity states an objective, materials that will be needed, getting ready, suggested grouping, action steps and sciencing questions. Youth are encouraged to further explore their world with hands-on experiments and community action.


Science Literacy

4-H SET_2008
4-H SET Activity Guide (doc)
Topic Area: Science Literacy | Audience: Youth ages 5-19 | Published: 2009
4-H science, engineering and technology (SET) activities can enhance your club or project meetings! This guide provides fast and fun science and engineering activities prepared to be SET-Ready. The activities allow youth to have hands-on experiences with a variety of science and engineering topics.


YES! - Youth Experiences in Science (PDF)
Topic Area
: Science Literacy | Audience: Youth ages 5-8 | Published: 2000
The Youth Experiences in Science (YES!) Project provides high-quality children's science education projects for after-school settings. 

The 4-H YES! curriculum is designed to foster inquiry and engage children ages 5 to 8 in the process of exploration. Young children are introduced to the formal scientific process by performing a variety of scientific tasks including observing, organizing, comparing and communicating. A cross-age teaching model engages teenage volunteers as teachers. 

After attending a 10-hour training session (and equipped with the YES curriculum and adult support), the teens work in teams to prepare and deliver the weekly science activities.


DNA for Dinner
Topic Area:
DNA & Biotechnology | Audience: Middle School | Published: 2010
The five lessons in this curriculum are: Dare to Be Different (organisms, genetic diversity); Language of Life (genomes, genetic code); DNA for Dinner (genes, DNA, reproduction); Building Blocks to Organisms (amino acids, proteins, enzymes); and From Bread to Biotech (classical breeding, genetic engineering, restriction enzymes). Each lesson has background, discussion questions, math puzzles, and three to five activities to demonstrate key points of the lesson. 


Backyard Mystery: Afterschool Biology Curriculum
Topic Area:
DNA & Biotechnology | Audience: Grades 5-7 | Published: 2013
Backyard Mystery focuses on diseases, pathogens and careers, using interactive paper and physical activities. The curriculum is available in two forms: a combined lesson that brings all of the elements together in one session and another in which the content is broken out into three separate lessons. 


State 4-H Office | Sign-Up for Updates
The 4-H name and emblem service marks are protected under 18 U.S.C. 707.
Webmaster Email: