Since 2009, 4-H programs in seven New Jersey counties have collaborated to promote the Rutgers 4-H STEM Ambassador program. The program kicks off every summer with a week-long sleepaway component at Rutgers University in New Brunswick. During the week on campus, twelve Mercer County youth participated in hands-on STEM workshops, panel discussions with scientists and professors, researched in different labs, and experienced life on campus. At the end of the week, the participants’ families joined the youth participants for a walk-around poster session during which the STEM Ambassadors presented their work and shared about their week on campus. During this 15th kick-off week, we had a total of 54 participants from the seven collaborating counties- Atlantic, Essex, Hudson, Mercer, Middlesex, Passaic, and Union.
Throughout the year, these teens volunteer with their local 4-H programs to provide STEM engagement to younger children and continue to be engaged in STEM opportunities with 4-H and on campus. The Mercer County cohort has already volunteered at the 104th Mercer County Fair and our day camps. The Mercer County STEM Ambassadors are gearing up to join us during our fall programming, bringing leadership, STEM expertise, and mentorship to their young peers.