Youth learn science, explore college campus and have fun at 4-H Exploration Days. Deadline near!

The “Unleash Your Inner Scientist” theme promises fun, learning and science like never before to youth attending 4-H Exploration Days at MSU, June 18 to 20. Enroll by April 29!

''Time is running out to register for 4-H Exploration Days, Michigan State University’s (MSU) largest pre-college program. The 2014 conference will be held June 18 to20 on the MSU campus. The theme is Unleash Your Inner Scientist. The conference’s special emphasis on science will include a Science Palooza that showcases many cool science-related projects and activities. There will also be a special entertainment program featuring stunt and special effects coordinator Steve Wolf. Wolf has designed, engineered and performed stunts and special effects for feature films and television shows, including “Cast Away” (with Tom Hanks), “The Firm” (with Tom Cruise), “America’s Most Wanted,” “Crocodile Dundee II” and many more. Wolf will show the secret science behind movie stunts and special effects!

''The 2014 4-H Exploration Days science theme was selected to strengthen Michigan students’ ability and interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)and spark interest in STEM-related careers. American businesses are projected to require one million additional college graduates with STEM degrees in the next decade to remain competitive. 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 (animal science, plant science, environmental and earth sciences, general science and technology) built upon hands-on learning and inquiry. 4-H is uniquely positioned to equip youth with the science knowledge and skills to regenerate the Michigan workforce.

''The 4-H Exploration Days program also gives youth an authentic collegiate experience as they live in MSU residence halls, 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.

To attend Exporation Days, youth must be age 11 by January 1, 2014. More than 200 hands-on classroom and field trip sessions are offered in a wide variety of interest areas. Sessions are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis and many sessions still have space available. 4-H Exploration Days annually draws about 2,500 participants from across the state and this will be the program’s 46th year.

''The fee to attend is $165; youth not already enrolled in 4-H pay an additional $10 4-H participation fee. The registration book provides the schedule, session titles and descriptions, and includes the registration form on page 22 the authorization form on page 23. Parents and guardians may also find the FAQ page helpful. Participant registrations are due to each county Michigan State University Extension office by April 29 and county-based staff will submit enrollment information to the State 4-H office by May 2. County 4-H staff also manage the recruitment, chaperone and orientation process. To obtain contact information for your county MSU Extension 4-H staff, click on your county name here.

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.

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