Nebraska Extension 4-H Newsletter - July 2016

In the Spotlight for July!

  • What Do YOU Want to Be?

  • 4-H and Washington D.C.

  • The Power of Positive Thinking

  • How to Write a Scholarship Application

  • 4-H STEAM 1 Clothing Skills

  • 4-H Focus on Food Exhibits

  • Watching Clover Kids Grow

  • UNL - CASNR - And Future Jobs!

Better Kid Care!

How can you effectively keep youth engaged at your 4-H meetings? Do you have problems dealing with youth’s behavior? In the Better Kid Care lessons, Tools of the Trade: Positive Guidance, Penn State Extension gives tips on using positive guidance by helping youth learn to control their own behavior. Youth need to have a safe nurturing environment with adult’s individual attention and opportunities for recognition.

To build positive relationships, talk with the youth and learn about their interests in 4-H and activities they would like to do at meetings. Listening to youth’s interests will help to build a relationship with them.

For youth to behave, rules need to be established and enforced. Consistent enforcement to all youth attending is important so youth don’t feel they have been singled out in the group. Have a few simple rules that the youth have helped create as a group. Youth are more likely to take ownership of rules if they have developed them. Post the rules at the meeting to reference them when a problem occurs.

Finally, provide a predictable schedule or agenda of the meeting will help the meeting to stay on task and allow the youth to know what is coming up next. Have activities that youth can work on independently but be willing to help others if needed. Oftentimes, the older youth can help younger members with tasks if they are struggling to complete the activity. The best way to learn about a task is to teach someone else. Provide encouragement to youth during the activity as an individual or to the whole group depending on the situation.

If a youth is behaving in an inappropriate way, redirect them to an acceptable activity or give them choices of different activities. When responding to the behavior ask yourself: 1.What do you think caused the mistaken behavior? 2. What do you want the youth to learn from the situation? 3. What can I do to help the youth learn? 4. What will be the effects of my response to the mistaken behavior? These are strategies and positive guidance techniques to help youth to engage in 4-H meetings in a constructive way.

What Do YOU Want to Be When You Grow Up?

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What do you want to be when you grow up? This is a changing question for anyone. 4-H Leaders you can help members explore career options sparking their interest in learning about careers and the thousands of options that are available to them.

How do we expect young people to dream if they don’t know what they can dream about? You can give members information and learning experiences that will help them open doors to their future. Opportunities for career exploration give 4-Hers a broader exposure to the working world they will enter. It helps them “connect the dots” between school and career in ways that keep them motivated to graduate with the skills they will need for the future.

  • Career exploration experiences can improve academic performance. They increase the likelihood that members complete high school and pursue post-secondary education.
  • Career exploration opportunities improve attitudes of youth about their career possibilities, motivating them to persevere.
  • Career exploration improves members’ knowledge of career options, encouraging them to develop and work toward goals during the critical years when they are also beginning to venture beyond their families.
  • With understanding the working world, youth can envision how they successfully fit in. Knowing the preparation they need for specific careers, members set realistic goals and pursue them.

Students involved in career exploration plan their high school courses carefully to gain the skills they will need. Members participating in career exploration as middle-schoolers enroll in higher level math courses in high school and have higher self-esteem. Career exploration can be built into all club experiences. Career exploration tours are great learnings that help 4-Hers want to routinely participate in your club meetings. Challenge yourself to plan a career exploration activity into every 2016 meeting.

Here is an activity to help you get started. Vegetable Beef Soup: Divide members into groups of 4 to 5. Ask teams to brainstorm every occupation involved in producing and delivering a can of vegetable soup to the grocery store and one to the home for preparation. Encourage them to include marketing, label design, transportation and preparation in their listing of occupations. Keep their discussion going by sharing different ideas for them to discuss. Compare the group’s list of occupations. Ask each member to identify a potential career they would like to explore from this listing. Have them report at the next meeting what they have learned about that career and if that career is available in your community/county.

For additional learning experiences for career development check project manuals for ideas and tour suggestions. Check out the following webpages for a better understanding of career exploration activities: rclusters.htm

The Power of Positive Thinking

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Considered to be the capstone experience of Nebraska 4-H, Citizenship Washington Focus, or CWF, provides 4-H youth with the opportunity to explore, learn and grow in our nation’s capitol. Across the state, counties or groups of counties recruit 4-H youth into delegations for this experience of a lifetime. Each delegation provides a slightly different experience, but there are certain elements of CWF that are nearly universal. The mission of Citizenship Washington Focus is to provide 4-H youth, aged 14 to 18 years, with an in-depth view of government, citizenship and leadership.

To prepare for Citizenship Washington Focus, most Nebraska 4-H delegations complete the We The People curriculum. This program teaches lessons in personal leadership, cultural competence and basic civic education. This is vital as many of the delegates have not yet completed a government course. Participants also build their civic engagement as they contribute to their own communities by completing a service learning project.

Once preparations are complete, it is time for the adventure to begin! Most delegations travel to Washington, D.C. in the early summer in an attempt to avoid conflicts with other 4-H activities. Each delegation takes a different approach ranging from a week-long trip by plane to a two-week bus tour. It is an exciting time to make new friends, experience new cultures and see different ways of living. Some delegations include destinations like New York City and Philadelphia on the way to D.C. to include opportunities for learning about immigration, national security, patriotism and the founding of our nation’s government.

Upon arrival in Washington, D.C., the delegates find a home at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center. The Nebraska 4-H delegates, together with delegates from other states, participate in the many activities the center has to offer. The activities include networking events, motivational speakers, educational workshops and youth-led mock government sessions. The delegates also take field trips away from the center to do sightsee. Some of the popular destinations include the White House, Smithsonian Institution, Mount Vernon, Arlington National Cemetery and a variety of monuments and memorials. Most delegations also take time to meet with a congressman or congresswoman from the state of Nebraska while visiting the U.S. Capitol building to learn about Nebraska’s role in our national government. The CWF experience is truly transformational!

To participate in Citizenship Washington Focus, contact your local extension office. They can provide you with information about your local delegation or connect you to a nearby delegation as many groups welcome youth from other counties to join in on future trips.

How to Write for Scholarships

Before you know it summer will be over and it will be time for writing scholarships. Writing for scholarships (including statements and essays) can be kind of a pain. There are countless scholarships and each has their own criteria and essay grading criteria. But if you put the work in and take the time to really rock it, there could be tons of money in it for you. Here are some tips that’ll help you nail writing for scholarships.

Write About Things You’re Involved With

Clubs, athletics, and volunteer work—any organized activity you do outside your schoolwork is fair game. It shows that you’re well-rounded and dedicated to not just your studies, but a bunch of other cool stuff.

Write About Obstacles You’ve Overcome

Write about where you come from and how got to where you are now. “Perseverance in the face of adversity” is a phrase people like, so show how you’ve displayed perseverance in your life.

Talk About What You’ll Do with Your Education

Give them a reason to give you money. Show the scholarship-granter that the money they invest in you will be well spent.

Keep It Short and Dense

Like a brownie. It’s delicious and satisfying and it doesn’t take too long to eat. Do the same with your writing. Just don’t eat it.

Write Multiple Drafts

Your best essay will likely not be your first one. So rewrite a couple of times. You’ll find errors to fix and better ways to word things.

Get a Second Opinion

Get your friends, teachers, parents, older siblings, pets, etc. to read your writing and provide their opinion. They might have an insight or two that you hadn’t thought of.

4-H STEAM 1 Clothing

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Sewing is a skill, and it is lots of fun to learn how to do it. Learning to sew involves creativity, good technique and patience. There is more to sewing than you may imagine. As this new 4-H project STEAM Clothing 1 FUNdamentals will show us sewing involves Science, Technology, Engineering Art and Math skills to complete textile products. Let us take a look at why the components of STEAM factors are important to helping youth develop lifetime skills

Science allows us to 1.) Try to answer a question, 2.) Do some research about ways others may have answered the question, 3.) Form a hypothesis about what you expect the answer will be, 4.) Test you hypothesis by doing an experiment, 5.) Analyze the results of your experiment and 6.) Form your conclusions and to understand more about the answer to your question. The answer to one question may lead to another question.

Technology is a huge part of sewing. Many years ago before the invention of the sewing machine in 1846 sewing was constructed by hand. Technology was even needed to create the first needles from bone. This project will help you to explore new technology used to make your creativity and ideas become a reality.

Engineering is the application of scientific, economic, social and practical knowledge used to design, build and to maintain products. While youth learn about sewing techniques you will learn about the engineering process; 1.) Define the problem; 2.) Background research; 3.) Planning; 4.) Creating solutions; 5.) Build a solution using processes and technology; and 6.) Fine tuning or improving the solution through critical thinking.

Art is involved in many of the items that youth would make and plan for in their sewing project. The elements and principles of design are the building blocks that help them create a work of art. Within their journey of sewing they will use the elements as well as the principles design to constructing a work of art.

To construct a sewing project it would be almost impossible not to use math skills. Youth will use their math skills to calculate adjustment to patterns based on their body measurement. Precision is important for successful projects in the sewing area.

The STEAM manual is organized into four chapters that focus on traditional topics for any beginner to the world of sewing. The project manual is designed to be copied and printed for youth to complete activities. These pages consist of data collection sheets, quizzes, handouts, and patterns. The activities are set up to include these pages in their portfolio to document their progress in clothing construction.

Always remember as a leader your job is to help youth complete the experiential learning process by discussing the “Share what you did,” “Process what’s important,” “Generalize to your life,” and “Apply what you learned”.

Look for STEAM sewing projects at county fairs this summer.

4-H Focuses on New Food Exhibits

General Food Exhibits is a new category of some projects, including Science Explorations and posters, etc.) Your fairbook should have the following listed: CLASS E350001 FOOD SCIENCE EXPLORATIONS Open to any 4-H’er enrolled in a Foods and Nutrition project. Show the connection between food and science as it relates to food preparation, food safety, or food production. Exhibit may be a poster or foam core board (not to exceed 22” by 30”), computer based presentation printed off with notes pages, if needed, and displayed in binder, an exhibit display, a written report in portfolio or notebook. Consider neatness and creativity.

Let’s look at the Science in Food Preparation!

Objectives: Participants will: explore and describe the physical properties of matter and its changes. (NE SCI 2.1) plan and conduct investigations that lead to the development of explanations. (NE SCI 1.1) make predictions based on data to answer questions from tables and bar graphs (NE MATH 4.2)

Background: Whether foods have been created from simple or complex recipes and ingredients, science plays a role in the success of the final product. In this experiment, participants will take a very simple recipe to see the effect of ingredients on food properties by testing the effects of baking soda and cream of tartar. Using this background, participants will be able to create their own connections on how science plays a role in food preparation.

Methods: Bring two or three different types of muffins in for students to analyze. Cut the muffins up and distribute evenly or showcase on tables. Have students look at the muffins and compare and contrast on a piece of paper. Come together as a group to talk about these differences. Bring your discussion to an end by talking about texture. Without the meshwork of air spaces, you would have a solid brick of muffin. What causes these air spaces? Different ingredients cause different reactions. So what ingredients need to be added to create soft, delicious muffins? (For older students you could talk about carbon dioxide being released during the baking process.)

Split into five groups. Each group will make one of the following recipes. Each recipe will make 6-8 muffins. Can cut recipe in half if needed.

Control Recipe

½ cup all-purpose flour

½ cup cornmeal

¾ tablespoon sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 egg, slightly beaten

½ cup milk

1/8 cup melted butter

Mix all dry ingredients together in mixing bowl. Using a cup, create a well in center of batter. Add the egg, milk and melted butter. Stir until smooth. Fill muffin pans about 2/3 full. Bake at 425°F for 15-20 min until browned and baked all the way through. Let cool in muffin tins for 5 minutes and then tip out of pan.

TEST 1 Substitute baking powder with ¾ teaspoon baking soda

TEST 2 Substitute baking powder with 1 teaspoon cream of tartar and ½ teaspoon baking soda

TEST 3 Substitute baking powder with 1 ½ teaspoons cream of tar-tar and ¾ teaspoons baking soda

TEST 4 Substitute baking powder with 2 teaspoons cream of tartar and ¾ teaspoon baking soda

NOTE: Make sure as the muffins come out of the oven, you keep them separate so comparisons can be made.

Help participants make a data table. Staying in cooking groups, go around and make measurements of everyone’s muffins. Measurements that can be made: average height of each test/control, average weight, cut open and look at texture, taste test, and older kids could calculate density. Can discuss what they have in their own tables or make a big one to look at together. Based on this information come up with a general conclusion on how the ingredients affect the outcome of the muffins. Which would they prefer to eat/sell? Extended: Discuss with members what other alterations can be made. Challenge them to investigate and experiment with other ingredients. Document using pictures and create a board or binder showing results to be exhibited at fair. Projects can be entered under Class E350001–Food Science Explorations.

Watching Clover Kids Grow

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Children develop best when the learning environment is appropriate for their individual ages and stages of development. As an

adult working with children, you will want to match the learning opportunities with each child’s functioning level. If the task is too

easy or too difficult, children will lose interest. Base your programming decisions on how each child is currently functioning. Add

new challenges as appropriate to encourage growth and learning.

Clover Kid, ages 5 to 8, is an exciting time for children. It is often the time when first childhood memories are made and when

much growth and development occurs. During this time period, children are maturing physically, mentally, emotionally, and

socially. It is also during this time that children begin to branch out socially and build new relationships.

To be successful, children must acquire new skills, knowledge, and abilities.

  • Development is not the same from one child to the next, nor is it consistent across developmental domains within a single child. All
  • children grow and develop at their own rate.
  • Adults can greatly assist in clover Kid development by guiding children’s involvement in activities and enriching the learning experience by
  • soliciting children’s ideas, responding to their questions, engaging them in conversations, and challenging their thinking.
  • The “ages and stages” information is meant to be a guide that outlines the general characteristics and capacities of children ages 5 to 8. This information is not intended to be used as criteria for assessing development, but as a guide for selecting activities that will promote the healthy development of children in middle childhood. Remember that each child is unique and will mature in a unique way!

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Guaranteed Job Offers Thru CASNR

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Many 4-Hers connect going to college with getting a good job. Few of them, however, may know that there is a program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) that guarantees they will have a job offer in their area of interest within 6 months of graduating or they will be retrained at no cost.

This unique program, Ensuring Your Future, is offered through the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (CASNR). Ensuring Your Future is a comprehensive approach to preparing CASNR graduates for their first position working in their chosen field. Ensuring Your Future is the only program of its kind at UNL, and the only one of its type among peer institutions.

CASNR does its part to get students ready for their careers in three ways: preparing them as professionals, preparing them as people and leaders, and preparing them for employment. CASNR provides students the skills and knowledge to get them ready for their career, but the students have a role as well.

At CASNR, students are expected to take personal responsibility for their success in terms of academics, involvement, and gaining real-world experiences prior to graduation. Employers are looking for high-performing employees with skills in technology, collaboration, and human relations. Ensuring Your Future provides the opportunity to acquire and sharpen those skills while students are on campus.

For more information on the Ensuring Your Future program, contact Sue Ellen Pegg at 402-472-0615 or

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