SPOTLIGHT ON 4-H

Nebraska Extension 4-H Volunteer Newsletter - May 2017

In the Spotlight for May!

  • How Teens Think: Implications for 4-H Programming

  • Clover Kids as part of a Club

  • Club Activity: Clover Kid - Butterflies

  • Life Challenge Contest

  • Crops Projects Teach Careers & More

  • Illusions of Lines in Design

  • Community Partnerships

  • New East Campus Residence Hall

How Teens Think: Implications for 4-H Programming

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Understanding how teens think can be an important tool for engaging them in 4-H and in helping support their development. In recent years, advances in science and technology have given researchers a lot of insights into teens’ thinking processes from which we can draw best practices.

  1. Engaging them in problem solving and decision-making. Brain development continues well until their 20s and the most advanced forms of thinking such as problem-solving and decision-making are the last to fully develop. Giving youth opportunities to practice these skills through 4-H can be valuable for their growth. This includes giving them guidance but enough room to make decisions, plan, and reflect on their errors and successes.
  2. Safe risk-taking. Teens can assess risk just as well as adults. However, they are more likely to chase rewards even given the same risks. Seeking excitement and risk-taking can indeed have dangerous consequences. Within 4-H, however, risk-taking can be experienced safely. Provide opportunities for them to experiment and try out ideas. More importantly, help them process their experience and learn from both their failures and successes. Reflect on outcomes on what helped or hindered success.
  3. Engaging the peer group. We all know that peers become quite important during the teen years. Research shows that teens’ brains are especially sensitive to rewards in the form of peer approval. 4-H can be a venue to engage youth in productive peer interactions – allowing them to interact, collaborate, and learn from each other.

Indeed, the teen years can be a time of risk-taking, peer focus, and development. 4-H can be an important opportunity for them to work out this continued development in a positive and productive way.

Clover Kids as part of a Club

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4-H Clover Kid programs should be activity-focused and not project-focused. They should be built on cooperative learning, rather than competitive activities. 4-H Clover Kid members participate in non-competitive, age-appropriate, events or activities sponsored by 4-H groups. 4-H Clover Kid activities should be conducted in a positive environment that focuses on the members’ strengths. 4-H Clover Kids need opportunities to practice skills, discover talents and learn about fairness in a non-judgmental environment.

The primary difference between 4-H Clover Kid activities and a 4-H project, is Clover Kid members engage in a variety of activities which focus on developing a specific skill or concept utilized in completing the activity, rather than focusing on a long-term planned course of study in a specific project area. Example: working on hand-eye coordination of using scissors to cut out a design so they can complete their activity. Let the older 4-H’ focus, give the Clover Kids the time to explore.

If a Clover Kid is really interested in one area such as building something, let them explore lots of different types of building materials from clay to Lego’s to Lincoln logs. The concepts of building and discovery are what are important, not the end result. Clover Kids are curious and interested in learning about lots of different areas. 4-H Clover Kid members should not have ongoing projects nor should they participate as competitive exhibitors.

Most Clover Kids have short attention spans, so plan on changing activities every 10-15 minutes. Give the child who wants to continue with the current activity, the opportunity to finish; while transitioning to a new activity for the child who is ready for something different. Physical activities are inexpensive and provide positive outlets for the child who can’t sit still. Use a central theme like frogs and plan 5 or 6 different ways to explore frogs. They love to jump like a frogs.

County Fair or other events to showcase 4-H Clover Kids skills should always be noncompetitive events. Grades K-3 children are sensitive to criticism; which often results in not being able to accept failure well. Clover Kids members are encouraged to exhibit or showcase activity-related items from their club at appropriate venues.

Club Activity: Clover Kid - Butterflies

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There are many times throughout the year when you need to be able to grab a quick lesson to utilize in a club meeting or before an event. Here is a Clover Kid favorite that is quick and does not require a lot of supplies. Find the complete lesson and the worksheet at cass.unl.edu.

What do butterflies do? Butterflies are pollinators, which are very important to our environment because they help pollinate several plants, trees and flowers. They are also beautiful! Where do we find butterflies? Butterflies like certain types of plants with a lot of pollen or nectar like zinnias, coneflowers or butterfly bushes. They like to lay their eggs on milkweed so it’s good to have some of that near by or in your wildflower mix.

Butterfly Life Stages Craft

Supplies Needed include: Life Cycle worksheet, shell, rotini, and bow tie pasta and beans or small bead-like pasta, Glue, Butterfly larvae and Butterfly House (larvae and house are optional- this part may be skipped if you have a group that will not be meeting regularly).

Discuss how butterflies go through various life stages, starting with the egg stage, larvae stage, chrysalis stage then butterfly last. As you discuss each stage, have them glue the pasta shape to correlate to the life stage: Eggs=beans or bead-like pasta, Larvae=rotini, Chrysalis=shell, Butterfly=bow tie. Make sure they write their name on their paper to take home and/or bring to the county fair.

What do butterflies look like? Provide photos or video or different types of butterflies and moths. There are some good books on the topic that may be read as a group. Are butterflies considered a bug or an insect? Is there a difference? Yes there is a difference! A bug is a certain type of insect. Some examples are the boxelder bug, milkweed bug, assassin bug, and stink bug. True bugs have a stylet (a mouth shaped like a straw) that they use to suck plant juices from plants. The assassin bugs use their stylets to suck blood from other insects. The front wings of true bugs are thickened and colored near where they are attached to the insect's body, and are clearer and thinner towards the hind end of the wing.

Coffee Filter tie-dye butterflies Craft

Butterflies are beautiful and vary in color and pattern. Why do you think they are these vibrant and pretty colors? Camouflage so they can blend in with flowers and also so they can look pretty and attract other butterflies. What can we do to help protect butterflies? Plant habitat for butterflies, don’t destroy current habitat and make sure we use pesticides and herbicides wisely and according to their label.

Supplies needed include: Coffee filters, Markers, Pipe cleaners, Spray bottle full of water, and table covering (newspaper or opened up garbage bags work great).

Cover tables and lay out supplies for each youth. Have each youth color and design their coffee filters (1-3 per person). When finished designing, spray filters with water and watch the colors bleed together to create a tie-dye pattern. Let dry well. Wrap filters up with pipe cleaner to create the shape of a butterfly. Look at it in a window to see the pretty colors come through.

Snack- Butterfly Fruit Pizza

Supplies needed include: Sugar cookie dough, Strawberry cream cheese, and various cut fruit. Bake the cookie dough in a large pan or cookie sheet like a crust. Let dough cool (works best to have this done ahead of time). Frost with the cream cheese then use the various cut fruit to create a shape or design—in this case a butterfly.

As the youth eat their snack, read to them a book about butterflies. Review the information taught on butterflies and remind them to bring their crafts to the fair to exhibit!

4-H Contests: Life Challenge

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The Life Challenge is a two and a half day event designed to help 4-H’ers learn about issues related to Family and Consumer Sciences, explore career opportunities that are available, compete with other teens from across the state, and have FUN! This event is sponsored by the Nebraska 4-H Foundation, with the support of the Nebraska Investment Finance Authority and the University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Education and Human Sciences.

The 2017 Life Challenge is designed for 4-H members ages 10 – 18 by January 1, 2017. Opportunities for these 4-H youth include:

  • Participating in the Family and Consumer Sciences Team Problem Solving Challenges, which are:
  1. Food and Nutrition with a nod to local foods
  2. Textiles with a look at the International Quilt Museum
  3. Clothing through the lens of careers
  4. Housing upcycling design
  • Touring the University of Nebraska–Lincoln East Campus
  • Visiting with University of Nebraska–Lincoln faculty
  • Meeting new friends from all across Nebraska
  • Enjoying time with friends from home
While participating in up to the four Challenges listed above, youth will:
  • Apply what they learn in 4-H projects to a real-life situation.
  • Work in teams of two, three or four 4-H’ers to determine their five-step problem-solving plan. The five steps are:
  1. Situation Analysis
  2. Problems and Opportunity
  3. Plan Development
  4. Supporting Knowledge
  5. Recommendations and Conclusion.
Your local Nebraska Extension Office can provide you the Participant Problem-Solving Workshop and Presentation Outline materials with this problem-solving plan.
  • Verbally share their thoughts and ideas with a panel of judges in a five to seven minute presentation of their solution to the challenge situation.
  • Have 45 minutes to prepare this presentation, and
  • Be able to use props and visuals during their presentation.

The state Life Challenge Contest will be June 26th – June 28th, 2017 on the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s East Campus. For more information and to register, please contact your local Nebraska Extension Office. Please note, youth can select one, two, three or all four challenges to participate in during this event. There is a registration cost for each challenge selected which may or may not be covered by your county 4-H Council. Youth must have an adult accompany them to this event.

Crops Projects Teach Careers & More

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Crops play a key role in Nebraska’s economy. A wide variety of career paths are available in this rapidly-changing field. With a degree in agronomy, careers are possible as an:

  • Agricultural Communicator
  • Crop Consultant
  • Crop Insurance Adjuster
  • Educator
  • Elevator or Co-op Manager
  • Farmer or Rancher
  • Farm Credit Banker
  • Farmer Manager
  • Field or Lab Researcher
  • Plant Breeder
  • Seed, Fertilizer, or Chemical Sales or Technical Representative
  • Soil or Water Conservationist

If you haven’t taken a look at the projects offered in the crop area recently, you should consider exhibiting projects related to field crops, weed science and range. The crops & range division has a wide variety of projects for youth to express their creativity while learning the science behind their exhibit.

If you enjoy making educational displays, consider making a Career Interview Display! The purpose of this class is to encourage youth to investigate a career in agronomy. Youth should interview one person that works with crops, about topics, such as what parts of their job they like/dislike, why they chose that career, what their educational background is, etc. They should include a picture of the person interviewed and creativity explain what they learned about that career on a display board which could be on poster board or plywood, no larger than 24 x 24”.

Other crop displays are:

Crop Production Display – Contains information about crop production aspects such as crop scouting, alternative crops, etc.

Crop Technology Display – Aspects of how technology is used in crop production such as genetic engineering, crop breeding, GPS, yield mapping, etc.

Water or Soil Display – Information about water or soils, such as how soils are being used for crop production, range, conservation, wildlife, or wetland use, or ways to protect or conserve water and soil resources.

The field crops project also has grain or plant exhibits which enable youth to exhibit grain from the previous year. So if planned early, save some grain after harvest, write a short essay on the project and you could have a project completed well before fair time! Another option is to exhibit plants from the current year’s project and explain your exhibit in a short essay as well.

Need resources to help youth learn about crops?

Check out the CropWatch.unl.edu/youth website which provides educational resources and activities for leaders or educators to teach youth about crops. If you questions or need additional resources, contact Brandy VanDeWalle at brandy.vandewalle@unl.edu.

Illusions of Lines of Design

One of the fun things about putting together outfits is using design lines to create optical illusions. Those illusions can make you look taller, shorter, wider, narrower, and accentuate your face or other characteristics.

Line is the most basic element of design. Line can divide areas into shapes and spaces. Line can give direction or a feeling of movement to a design. As a basic tool, line can be used to create optical illusions in clothing.

Line direction may be vertical, horizontal, diagonal, or curved. Vertical lines lead the eye upward creating the illusion of height to visually slenderize the figure. Horizontal lines usually carry the eye across. Diagonal lines slant, and because of the slant are incredibly slimming and like vertical lines, no matter where you place them on your body will slim that area. Curved lines are graceful. They may be soft when slightly curved or bold when tightly curved.

Outfits of one color and those with center front interest can add height. Use of the “Y” line such as a “V” neckline increases the illusion of height. When two or more vertical or horizontal lines are used, the spacing between the lines will affect the illusion created.

Generally, vertical lines that carry the eye up the figure without interruption will give a taller, more slender illusion. Lines that stop the eye from traveling upward by moving the eye from side to side or back down will create a shorter and heavier illusion.

  1. Study each photo to analyze how the use of line effects each figure.
  2. Horizontal lines carry the eye across. Vertical lines moves the eye upward.
  3. The longer your eye can travel upward without being interrupted by a horizontal line, the taller the figure will appear.
  4. A vertical illusion becomes a horizontal illusion when a vertical line is topped with a horizontal line, causing the eye to move from side to side. The sooner the eye encounters a horizontal line, the shorter the figure will appear.
  5. The magic “Y” creates a feeling of height as the eye is guided upward, with nothing to impede its vertical motion.
  6. Two vertical lines spaced far apart form three wide panels that move the eye across the figure.
  7. Slanted diagonal lines are slimming no matter where they are placed, they will slim that area.

Community Partnerships

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4-H provides fun, enriching, and safe environments for youth to explore, learn, create and build life skills that will prove invaluable as they grow and develop into competent caring adults. So how can we ensure we are providing our youth with valuable opportunities? We can look to not only you as 4-H leaders but your connections within your communities as well. As a community based organization it is important for 4-H Clubs to utilize the resources in their communities.

Community partners each possess unique skills and resources to contribute to and expand the opportunities you can offer the youth in your club. Partnerships can work in a variety of ways, some can be informal short term relationships (i.e. exchange of materials or supplies); some can be somewhat formal and more long term focused around a specific effort (i.e. sharing building or program space); and some can be formal long term relationships with a commitment to a common purpose that requires comprehensive planning and well-defined communication.

Here are some quick tips to help you bring in more community partnerships to expand opportunities for your club youth:

  • Identify the needs of your club and the potential businesses or organizations that could help you meet those needs.
  • Prioritize 2-4 partnerships to help you meet your major club needs. (i.e. If your club is doing an electricity project ask an electrician to come in and help you teach about electricity and the project you are working on.)
  • Ask yourself the following questions (the answers to these questions will be helpful when you approach your potential partner):
  1. What can this partner offer your club?
  2. How will the partner benefit from this partnership?
  3. What are you wanting this potential partner to do for your club?
  • When approaching potential partners be specific about what you are asking for. Have the answers to the questions above ready so you can feel prepared when talking with potential partners (i.e. This year as a club we are doing an electricity project, we will be exploring electrical insulation, learning about the effects of magnetism, and building an electromagnet and an electric motor. Would you be able to come to our next club meeting on {date} at {time} to help teach our club members about electricity and electrical safety?).

Every partnership will look different and each request you make will benefit you and the potential partner differently. If you need more guidance on potential partners contact your local Extension Office.

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New East Campus Residence Hall

If you were to ask any UNL alumni where some of their fondest memories were made during their time in college, it would not be a surprise to hear that many occurred within their first residence hall walls. The East Campus at UNL is indeed no different, as Burr and Fedde Halls have both seen their fair share of these memories over the past many years. Starting in the fall of 2017, however, there will be a new residence hall that will take the lead in making memories for the next wave of Husker alumni.
The new residence hall, temporarily named the East Campus Residence Hall, will take over as the primary residence beginning in August 2017 when this hall replaces both Burr and Fedde halls on UNL's East Campus. This freshly constructed building comes as a more versatile option to the beloved yet aging older 1950’s era residence halls (popularly known as ‘dorms’). It will not only have traditional style living quarters, like that of its older counterparts, but also will bring new apartment-style rooms as an option for living on campus. Having both traditional and apartment style options brings a classic sense to campus housing for all new students choosing to live on East Campus as well as allowing the older students an opportunity to continue enjoying the ease of access that living on campus can bring, while at the same time enjoying a more private setting.
The building is being built on the site of Biochemistry Hall, immediately north of C.Y. Thompson Library and east of the Nebraska East Union. Its size is needed, as it will offer an estimated 372 total beds, 134 apartment-style beds as well as 238 beds in traditional-style housing. The apartment-style units will include studio, two and four bedroom apartments with a bathroom, living room and kitchen. The traditional residence hall section of the facility will include both double- and single-occupancy rooms configured in communities of approximately 30 residents. Each 30-person community area will include three bathrooms, a social lounge and dedicated study room, and will be ADA compliant.
For more information on the new East Campus Residence Hall, please contact Mike Cooley at mike.cooley@unl.edu or 402-472-4445.

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