Michigan youth can unleash their inner scientist at 4-H Exploration Days

4-H Exploration Days brings youth to MSU in June for a pre-college program focused on science education, personal development and fun.

4-H Exploration Days is Michigan State University’s (MSU) largest pre-college program. Each year, 2,500 youth and adult chaperones from across Michigan attend campus to participate in numerous learning activities. The 2014 conference will be held June 18-20. The theme is Unleash Your Inner Scientist. Approximately 200 hands-on classroom and field trip sessions will be offered and many will focus on science topics. The conference’s special emphasis on science will include a Science Palooza following sessions on Thursday afternoon that showcases cool science-related projects and activities.''

The number of Michigan students receiving  science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)post-secondary degrees has been declining even though American businesses are projected to require 1 million additional college graduates with STEM degrees in the next decade to remain competitive.  The 4-H Exploration Days science theme was selected with this in mind. 4-H is uniquely positioned to equip youth with the science knowledge and skills to regenerate the Michigan workforce.

MSU Extension’s 4-H Youth Development program builds science literacy and critical thinking skills and can provide a gateway to STEM careers. Within 4-H programming, the STEM emphasis represents a broad range of disciplines including animal science, plant science, environmental and earth sciences, and general science and technology that were built upon hands-on learning and inquiry. 

4-H Exploration Days gives youth ages 11 to 19 an authentic collegiate experience as they live in MSU residence halls and explore interest areas and career options, increase their awareness and readiness for college, and develop decision-making, independence and teamwork skills. They also have fun and make friends with people from different backgrounds and areas.

The fee to attend is $165; youth not enrolled in 4-H pay an additional $10 4-H participation fee. Registration books will be available from county MSU Extension offices and online at the 4-H Exploration Days web site in early March. Registration opens on March 18. Sessions are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis so early registration is encouraged. The registration deadline is April 29, 2014.

Following their involvement, participants are eligible for nomination to apply for a $2,000 MSU Pre-College Scholarship based on criteria such as attitude, behavior and active participation. The scholarship is applied toward each recipient’s first year at MSU as a degree-seeking student.

For more information about 4-H Exploration Days, contact your county MSU Extension office.

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