Youth constructing bird nest boxes for Ornithology research

Youth constructing bird nest boxes for Ornithology research

Cornell Research Projects

Social Media Test Drive

This project is designed by Cornell’s Social Media Lab. The goal is to fill an important gap in social media literacy education for young people. That is, while youth might learn about smart social media behavior in school, they don’t have opportunities to practice their skills in a safe place. Social Media Test Drive is a social media simulation that lets youth work on their skills while ensuring that any mistakes they make won’t come back to haunt them online or off. We will teach the three lessons that are available, covering online self presentation, information/online news literacy, and standing up against cyber bullying. The lessons are designed for youth ages 10-13. We are excited to offer this in all of our 4-H afterschool programs in the late winter/early spring.

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.

Cornell University's Research Project on Children's Economic Decision Making

4th and 5th graders at LaFargeville Central School will participate in this project, which examines how children make decisions about money (e.g., would you rather have $1 today or $1.25 tomorrow)? There are three main reasons why children’s economic decision making is important: 1) We do not know much about how children learn about money and apply their knowledge. 2) Most American citizens and many policy makers believe poverty is caused by bad economic decision making. This could be accurate, but we suspect the opposite is more likely: people make bad economic decisions because they are poor. 3) The researchers hypothesize that one of the reasons poverty produces bad economic decision making is because of stress associated with growing up in poverty. 


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

Last updated January 11, 2018