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Middle school 4-H’ers gain hands-on agricultural engineering experience at “Mission Make-It” event
The Georgia 4-H STEM initiative hosted 152 middle school 4-H’ers on August 20 for “Mission Make-It,” an immersive learning experience at Rock Eagle 4-H focused on agricultural engineering. This annual event took place on August 20 and offered hands-on engineering experience, with a 2022 theme of “Rooted in Agriculture.”
This unique event allows students to learn about the engineering design process and then build functional examples of the concepts they learn. High school 4-H’ers, known as Teen Leaders, guided their younger peers through interactive workshops centered on wheelbarrows and windmills. These two inventions have impacted agricultural operations across the world for centuries.
Small groups work together to build the engineering projects. These groups also foster teamwork, planning, and communication skills. Teen Leaders were chosen to lead through an application process and each of them created activities for an exhibit fair and art show during the event.
“Engineers plan, create, and improve new products and processes daily. During the Mission Make-It event, middle school 4-H youth replicate these same steps during the engineering challenges,” said Kasey Bozeman, 4-H Extension Specialist for STEM Programs. “Older 4-H’ers gain leadership experience through preparation and teaching, and they always learn something new themselves,” Bozeman added.
The full-day experience kicked off with a drone demonstration led by Teen Leaders. This lesson in technology connected classic engineering models with innovative technology being used by Georgia’s farmers. Students learned the operation basics and then tested out their knowledge by flying drones on the Sutton Hall Lawn at Rock Eagle.
Mission Make-It was created to introduce youth to careers in engineering and expose them to the ways that engineering impacts their lives. Jay Moon, County Executive Director of USDA’s County Farm Service in Putnam County, spoke to attendees about farm loans and career possibilities. Moon also brought a calf from his local dairy farm as a special guest for his presentation.
Agriculture and STEM programs are one of three Georgia 4-H focus areas use hands-on activities to develop problem-solving and critical thinking skills in young people. Other 4-H focus areas include Civic Engagement and Healthy Living.
Georgia 4-H empowers youth to become true leaders by developing necessary life skills, positive relationships, and community awareness. As the largest youth leadership organization in the state, 4-H reaches more than 225,000 people annually through UGA Extension offices and 4-H facilities.
For more information about Georgia 4-H, contact your local University of Georgia County Extension Office or visit www.georgia4h.org.
The University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (working cooperatively with Fort Valley State University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the counties of Georgia) offers its educational programs, assistance, and materials to all people without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation or protected veteran status and is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action organization.