In 2010, President Obama announced the “Educate to Innovate” campaign – a multi-million dollar public-private effort to improve the nation’s ability to compete in key scientific fields and engage students to take on the leading challenges of the 21st century.
4-H is positioned to partner with the White House to play a significant role in addressing this national challenge. For more than 100 years, 4-H has been reaching youth with out-of-school science education. Today, 4-H Science programming is sparking an early youth interest and leadership in science, engineering, technology and applied math and strengthening the nation’s ability to tackle top challenges such as energy independence, healthcare and the environment.
4-H’s bold goal: engage one million new young scientists by 2013
The 4-H youth development program reaches more than 6 million young people each year with hands-on learning experiences. 4-H out-of-school programming, in-school enrichment programs and camps offer a wide variety of science, engineering, technology and applied math educational opportunities—from agricultural and animal sciences to rocketry, robotics, renewable energy, environmental protection and computer science. Through the 2008 launch of the One Million New Scientists, One Million New IdeasTM campaign, 4-H has been addressing our nation’s critical challenge by working to prepare one million new young people to excel in science, engineering, technology and applied math by the year 2013.
4-H is connected to Federal administration priorities
4-H Headquarters resides within the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) within USDA. NIFA integrates research and education to bring groundbreaking discoveries from the lab directly to today’s 4-H youth. NIFA’s alignment with the Federal Administration priorities sets the agenda for 4-H programming – from global food security, climate change and sustainable energy to childhood obesity and food safety – young people in 4-H are tackling the nation’s leading issues head-on.
4-H offers hands-on science programming in every county in the nation
As the youth development program of Cooperative Extension and USDA, 4-H is directly connected to the research and resources of 111 land-grant universities and colleges and more than 3,000 local county Extension offices across the nation. 4-H programs are further supported by 514,000 dedicated adult volunteers around the nation who put 4-H youth on a path towards successful careers.
The out-of-school science programming provided by 4-H is a vital complement to the formal education that young people receive during the school day. Out-of-school programming has been proven to deepen a youth’s connection to the science, reach the underserved and foster the skills that are attractive to employers.