During the fall of 2022, Mercer County 4-H partnered with Children’s Home Society to bring a technology series to their youth using MakeyMakey. This partnership was successful and extremely fun for the young people who took part in it. Once again, Mercer County 4-H is partnering with Children’s Home Society to continue to bring STEM programming to their youth. Our new series focuses on Physical Sciences, from learning about the respiratory system to the importance and physical properties of carbon dioxide, CO2. Our pivot is in efforts to continue engaging young people in STEM but target those not invested in technology as much as they are in other sciences. The program this session shows an increased number of participants, 18. The program is being delivered in both English and Spanish simultaneously to meet the language needs of the participants.
During our last session, 18 young people joined us to learn about carbon dioxide. We explored what it is, its atomic structure, why it Is important, how it fits into the oxygen cycle and its role in climate change. Following these discussions, our participants tested some of the physical properties of the gas using everyday materials like vinegar, baking soda, salt, and food coloring. Our Mercer County 4-H staff also demonstrated the density of the gas by using fire- this was a huge “wow” moment! This was a very fun way to learn about carbon dioxide and to see some of its properties in action. Before adjourning, the youth shared some of what they had learned, and from their insight, we could see that doing hands-on activities truly reinforced the concepts from our initial discussion.