Youth constructing bird nest boxes for Ornithology research

Youth constructing bird nest boxes for Ornithology research

Cornell Research Projects

Cornell Lab of Ornithology

The 4-H After-School program at Wiley Intermediate School in Watertown is piloting the Nest Watch curriculum, 2015-2018.The students have built, placed, and observed bird houses along the hiking trail. The students have also received educational classroom instruction alongside the actual scientific learning.

Cornell University Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research

Cornell University Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research was awarded a Smith-Lever grant to help bridge the gap between research/practice and foster capacity for collaborative youth development research in New York State. The research grant is three years, 2017-2020. This research will provide more opportunities across the state within Extensions to connect more strongly with the University on research projects. The first activity undertaken is to attend 4-H District meetings around the state and conduct taped surveys in group settings. This should be finished by the end of the summer of 2017. The next step is a meeting in the Fall to analyze the results of this and identify the next steps.

Healthy Transitions

Researchers have developed a curriculum for a hands-on activity to explore psychology that pairs with the research tasks. The research component is interested in the memories youth have of their experiences and the ways that they construct life narratives from these memories. Youth will then be given a survey to capture this. We conducted this at the STEM summer day camp and plan to also offer in the 4-H after-school programs in the 2017-2018 year.

Gratitude Goes a Long Way – students at the Wiley 4-H afterschool program may participate in piloting an “All About You” activity book. The book is designed for teens in 4-H. It has fun and engaging activities based on research in social science. Each activity is based upon concepts, programs, and theories in the social science literature related to positive youth development, motivation, and well-being. As a result, each activity offers youth an opportunity to learn more about who they are and how they engage with the world around them. Although these activities are based on research and practice, this activity book is not intended to be a psychological intervention. Instead, this book is a thought provoking and enjoyable set of activities for youth to choose from and engage with over time.

Developing a Sense of Purpose

4-H Camp Wabasso is participating in an upcoming study conducted by Program for Research on Youth Development and Engagement (PRYDE). This study is part of a larger project aimed at answering the question: What happens in 4-H programs that helps youth develop a sense of purpose in life? Last year, the first year of this three year project, PRYDE conducted focus groups with 4-H Educators and volunteers across New York state during which they shared their ideas about what experiences or program practices promote purpose development. These responses helped guide the creation of a new survey that is being administered to adolescents who participate in 4-H and 4-H educators/volunteers. This is where 4-H Camp Wabasso comes in – surveys will be administered to youth ages 12 – 18 at camp this summer.


Stephanie Graf
Youth, Family & Community Development Issue Leader
(315) 788-8450 ext. 251

Last updated June 26, 2018