Teaching Resources for the Classroom
4-H Stem in the Classroom
4-H STEM Programs: 4-H utilizes research-based curriculum, compliant with Florida Sunshine/Common Core Standards, covering a wide range of topics. Our school programs include
Environmental and Plant Sciences, Marine Biology and Aquatics, Embryology, Aeronautics and Space, and Robotics. These multi session programs are delivered during or after school by University of Florida faculty and staff.
STEM Educator Training: Annually 4-H offers a variety of STEM professional development programs for teachers and other educators. Schools, grade teams or individual educators may request personalized trainings ranging from brownbag lunch sessions to multi hour programs. Educators are also invited to attend our annual workshops.
Check out our science teaching resources below:
Embryology is a wonderful, hands-on way to learn about life cycles! Students will experience the development of chicks first hand by observing the growth inside the eggs and watching the chicks hatch. Objectives are understanding growth cycles, making observations and hypotheses, learning the basic needs for a chick, appreciation of living things, and a greater sense of responsibility.
Please contact Noelle Notarnicola (Mlorenzo@pbcgov.org) for scheduling embryology in your classroom.
4-H also provides a wealth of information and resources to supplement school like cycle curriculum and expand classroom concepts. Check out
Palm Beach County 4-H youth have a tremendous resource in Florida's natural environment. Through the Marine Science program, youth get to explore and enjoy the diverse and immense marine environment we have locally as well as discover new aspects of marine ecology they may have not known about before. Marine science in 4-H consists of a combination of components including marine ecology education, marine exploration and marine species identification. Additionally, Florida 4-H sponsors an annual Marine Ecology Event where youth compete with 4-H marine ecology clubs from around the state in marine identification (http://florida4h.org/programsandevents_/marine/). This is a great opportunity for students and school clubs to build their marine science knowledge, work as a team, compete against other schools, and meet new youth with a similar interested in marine sciene. More information regarding curriculum and marine science projects can be found here:
School Gardens: 4-H provides garden development and curriculum support for youth gardens located at schools and community organizations. Faculty and staff assist with planning, development, revitalization and ongoing student engagement at your garden site. School garden partners are required to implement an ongoing 4-H club as part of the project.
6 Hour Programs
Within 4-H, we offer a wide variety of in-school enrichment programs. Our school enrichment is short-term programming where we bring in a program for a specific amount of time. We also can help setup afterschool 4-H clubs. These are more long-term clubs (must be led by a teacher or faculty member but we provide curriculum and supplies. The programs listed below are a snap shot of what 4-H offers, so if there is something you are specifically interested in, we may have something for that topic or we can work with you to customize a program.
Science Inquiry Series with 4-H: This 4 part series, taught by the Program Assistants, introduces youth ages 5-10 to the scientific method and includes 1) Bee Buzzers – through the use of every day materials like craft sticks, erasers and rubber bands, youth create a device that buzzes like a bee. Youth can then experiment by making changes to their "bee buzzers" to discover how it works and how slight alterations can dramatically change the sound; 2) NASA Mars Lander Touchdown Challenge – youth design and build a shock-absorbing system that will protect two “astronauts" when they land; 3) Bug Catchers – youth create a bug catcher using every day materials to explore entomology and the natural environment around them; and 4) Balloon Challenge – youth learn about science inquiry, teamwork, and problem solving in this fun, hands-on, 3-part challenge using balloons and other materials to deliver a payload.
Physics with 4-H: This 4 part series teaches and reinforces physics concepts and principles, including Newton's laws to youth ages 10-18 and is taught by the 4-H agent and Program Assistants. This series includes 1) 4-H Bridge Building Challenge – challenges youth to think about structural integrity and utilize everyday materials to create a bridge meeting specific criteria while understanding the concepts of a bridge, force, mass, and gravity. 2) 4-H Stomp Rockets – youth explore how flight distance and pattern are affected and demonstrate Newton's 3rd Law of Motion, and explain how the stomp rockets illustrate it. 3) Motion Commotion – youth participate in a two-part experiment that investigates the physical and human factors of motion using toy cars to simulate a speeding car collision and distracted driving; and 4) Leaning Tower of Pasta – youth experiment with different structures to determine which ones are able to handle the greatest amount of load. Their experiments help them to further understand the effects that compression and tension forces have with respect to the strength of structures.
4-H Let's Get Healthy: This 4 part series teaches nutrition, importance of physical activity, and overall well-being to youth ages 8-18 and is taught by 2 Program Assistants. 1) Germ Busters – youth learn proper hand washing techniques, basic food safety principles, how germs spread, good vs. bad germs, and ways to keep themselves and their belongings clean. 2) The Amazing Race Healthy Living Challenge – activities and games help youth learn how physical fitness and health can be incorporated in a variety of life settings, including home, school, afterschool, and many more; 3) Mindfulness – youth learn about stress management taught through practical and interactive mindfulness-based activities including Awareness and Attention and Self-care: Stress Reduction and Relaxation; and 4) What's on Your Plate? – youth learn the building blocks of food science and conduct food experiments.
4-H STEM Fun: The 4-H Agent and Program Assistants teach this 4 part series that makes science fun for youth ages 8-18. 1) Living Seed Necklaces – youth learn about life cycles and plant science as they create a “living necklace' that they can wear home or display; 2) Code Your World – a four-part challenge that teaches kids to apply Computer Science to the world around them through hands-on activities; 3) Junk Drawer Robotics – activities emphasize different aspects of robotics while youth build their own robots and develop robotics knowledge and skills; and 4) The Power of Wind - activities involve youth in the engineering design process as they learn about the wind and its uses.
Adulting Made Easy with 4-H: Two Program Assistants teach this to 12-18 year old youth to provide them with the skills that will make them successful in higher education and as adults. Activities include 1) Public Speaking – youth learn to speak in public and how to write and give a speech from beginning to end; 2) Get in the Act! Workforce Readiness: This program helps youth explore what it takes to get their first paying job and includes resume writing, interview skills, and dressing for success; 3) Living on my Own – youth learn money management, budgeting, understanding credit, and wants versus needs in this real life monetary simulation; and 4) Entrepreneurism - youth learn about entrepreneurship by exploring potential business ideas, creating a marketing and budgeting plan for a business idea, and pitching their ideas.
NASA Mars Lander Touchdown Challenge: Design and build a shock-absorbing system that will protect two “astronauts" when they land. In this challenge, kids follow the engineering design process to: (1) design and build a shock-absorbing system out of paper, straws, and mini-marshmallows; (2) attach their shock absorber to a cardboard platform; and (3) improve their design based on testing results.
Science Inquiry with Bee Buzzers: Everyone is buzzing about this fun science activity. Through the use of every day materials like craft sticks, erasers and rubber bands, learners will create a device, that when twirled in the air, buzzes like a bee. Youth can then experiment by making changes to their "bee buzzers" to discover how it works and how slight alterations can dramatically change the sound.
4-H Bridge Building Challenge: By using a “learn-by-doing" approach that focuses on fun, hands-on, real world activities youth are able to explore subjects they love while gaining critical life skills with 4-H. The 4-H Bridge Building Challenge will challenge youth to think about structural integrity and utilize everyday materials to create a bridge meeting specific criteria. This activity will focus on creating stable structures in engineering while working with other youth to learn teamwork and problem solving while understanding the concepts of a bridge, force, mass, and gravity.
4-H Science Inquiry with Bug Catchers: Youth create a bug catcher using every day materials to explore entomology and the natural environment around them. The bug Catcher" allows children discover insects, spiders and other creepy crawlies found just outside their classroom doors.
4-H Stomp Rockets: Exploring the science inquiry process by building rockets with different types of fins and observing how flight distance and pattern are affected. Students can demonstrate Newton's 3rd Law of Motion, and explain how the stomp rockets illustrate it.
4-H Parachutes: Exploring the science inquiry process by building different types of simple parachutes and observing how flight distance and pattern are affected.
4-H Balloon Challenge: Youth learn about science inquiry, teamwork, and problem solving in this fun, hands-on, 3-part challenge. Youth must get a balloon from one end of a string to the other using only the materials provided. Mission 1: Get the balloon across; Mission 2: Get the balloon across with the string only in the horizontal position; Mission 3: Get the balloon across with a designated weight payload.
Living Seed Necklaces: Youth will learn about life cycles and plant science as they create a “living necklace' that they can wear home or display in various places around the classroom.
Motion Commotion: Motion Commotion is a two-part experiment that investigates the physical and human factors of motion using toy cars to simulate a speeding car collision and distracted driving.
Germ Busters: The Germ Buster kit is for use by teachers and educational staff to assist youth in learning proper hand washing, basic food safety principles, and ways to keep classrooms clean through several different components.
Leaning Tower of Pasta: Using spaghetti and marshmallows, students experiment with different structures to determine which ones are able to handle the greatest amount of load. Their experiments help them to further understand the effects that compression and tension forces have with respect to the strength of structures. Spaghetti cannot hold much tension or compression; therefore, it breaks very easily. Marshmallows handle compression well, but do not hold up to tension.
Edible Aquifers: Water is an essential resource that is used by every person, community, and industry in the world. There is a limited supply of water on earth so it is very important for youth to understand the source of drinking water and the pollutants in the local environment that can impact drinking water. Each youth will use food items to construct a model for an underground aquifer that will be filled with “water" and then contaminated with “pollution."
Weather Variables: Youth will look at and describe how to measure the different elements that make the weather. These elements, such as air temperature, wind speed and direction, and precipitation, are normally called the weather variables because each element changes with time, yet are all related.
Marshmallow Catapult Challenge: In this activity students will work in groups to create a catapult from popsicle sticks. They will modify their catapult in order to produce the best launch possible. Kids will have a great time launching mini marshmallows across the room while learning
4-H After School Clubs: A 4-H club is an organized group of at least five youth from three different families with two 4-H appointed adult volunteers. Members and leaders meet regularly and have a planned program that is carried out through all or most of the year. The purpose of a 4-H club is to provide positive youth development opportunities that enable youth to reach their full potential as competent, confident, leaders of character who contribute and are connected to their communities. After school 4-H clubs follow the same guidelines as community clubs. Members are individually enrolled and meet separately from a school's existing afterschool program. This program runs the duration of the school year and must meet 2 hours a month minimum.
The Amazing Race Healthy Living Challenge: The Amazing Race is designed to spark ideas of how physical fitness and health messages could be incorporated in a variety of life settings, including home, school, afterschool, and many more.
Vermicomposting: The 4-H Vermicomposting program offers students an opportunity to explore a micro-community. This community contains producers, consumers, and decomposers (as all communities do), and students are encouraged to reflect upon their learning as they achieve mastery of the concepts as they develop a functional worm bin.
Code Your World: Code Your World is a four-part challenge that teaches kids to apply Computer Science to the world around them through hands-on activities. Developed by Google and West Virginia University Extension Service, it includes a computer-based activity on Google's CS First platform and three unplugged activities that bring coding to life through games and interaction.
Junk Drawer Robotics: Junk Drawer Robotics curriculum emphasizes different aspects of robotics while youth build their own robots and develop robotics knowledge and skills.
Discover the Treasure of Public Speaking: This guide is to help youth become the best public speaker they can! Learning to speak in public is a treasure hunting experience that allows youth to discover their ability as a public speaker. Activities are arranged to help youth learn how to write and give a speech from beginning to end.
Get in the Act! Workforce Readiness: This innovative program is designed to help middle school youth explore what it takes to get their first paying job. This interactive experience combines both CD and activity guide formats. Presented in the context of a movie set.
Bullying Awareness: Lessons, activities, and resources to raise awareness about bullying and how it affects individuals on a daily basis.
Living on my Own: engages youth through money management and career decision-making education culminating in a simulated month of spending on needs and wants.
Discovering Computer Science Through Scratch: Introduces young people to the fundamental principles of computer programming, providing a foundation for exploring and creating.
Science Discovery Series: For Part 1, youth in grades 3-6 develop science skills as they explore whales, rocks and minerals, water quality, trees and recycling. Part 2 is geared for grades 4-7 to discover oceanography, spiders, weather, trees and astronomy. Lesson plans include background information, a lesson outline, life skill objectives and evaluation instruments.
Project Butterfly Wings: Youth explore the outdoors through guided inquiry, learn to identify the butterfly families and common butterflies, and contribute to science.
Amphibians & You: Encourage youth in your community to discover native amphibians and their value to the ecosystem. Students will learn how to identify native amphibians and conduct field research. Youth will feel a sense of accomplishment and pride knowing that they are contributing data to local herpetologists that will aid in the conservation of these magnificent creatures.
Rain to Drain, Slow the Flow: Rain to Drain - Slow the Flow is a hands-on stormwater education curriculum. This experiment style series of activities leads youth and adults to a better understanding of the movement of stormwater in natural and developed communities. It's also a great introduction to green infrastructure and stormwater best management practices.
The Power of Wind: Are you looking for something to spark engineering and science interest among middle school kids? The activities in The Power of the Wind curriculum involve young people in the engineering design process as they learn about the wind and its uses.
Science Fun with Kitchen Chemistry: Join the Terrestrial Alien Defense Academy and figure out how to outsmart the aliens by doing experiments in your kitchen. Learn about what matter is and how it changes form; explore the different properties of matter; find out about acids and bases; and discover how everyday items and kitchen ingredients can be used in cool tests! Designed for beginners, but appropriate for all levels.