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 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.
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.
Jefferson County 4-H is working with the state 4-H office to pilot a new 4-H Polymer Science Curriculum focused on plastic consumption and how plastics impact our environment. Participating youth learn what polymers are, how they are created, and the lengthy process of decomposition. The curriculums conclude with the 4-H participants brainstorming and coming up with ways to reduce their impact on the environment. The first round of piloting was for cloverbud youth in kindergarten through 2nd grades and was completed in August of 2017. The second round of piloting was for youth in grades 3-5 and was completed in April of 2019. The third round of piloting is ongoing and is for youth in grades 6-8; this round will be completed by the end of the school year.
Jefferson County 4-H Youth Development, in partnership with the Social Media Lab, Department of Communication, Cornell University, have been piloting, testing, and reviewing modules for student use for the past two years. The goal of this curriculum is to fill a gap in current digital literacy tools by offering a realistic social media experience within a safe protected platform. It combines lesson content with guided and unguided interactions within the simulated social media timeline, combined with facilitated reflection on those interactions. The overarching goals are to teach critical thinking skills, help set injunctive and subjective social norms, and shape expectancies for pro-social behaviors in social media. Currently, we are working with middle school age students on the most recently developed modules.
Last updated July 26, 2019