4-H School Enrichment


Nebraska Extension - Thurston County

Jennifer E. Hansen, Extension Educator, jhansen6@unl.edu

Stacey Keys, 4-H Assistant, stacey.keys@unl.edu

Dear Administrators and Teachers,

School Enrichment programs are a cooperative effort between schools, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and Nebraska Extension, which complement the educational goals of all organizations. The materials used in 4-H are based on research and produced by specialists from the University of Nebraska, National 4-H, and various universities and organizations throughout the United States. The lessons use the Experiential Learning Model: Do, Reflect, and apply to develop critical life skills. 4-H School Enrichment resources include teacher guides, student manuals, DVDs, teaching kits, and staff presentations.

Take a look, if you are interested in participating with us in this learning opportunity for the youth of the future, please fill out the registration form and return it to the Nebraska Extension Office in Thurston County.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to call or email. We hope these programs will enhance your existing curriculum and you will take advantage of these programmatic opportunities. We look forward to working with you.


Jennifer E. Hansen, Extension Educator, jhansen6@unl.edu

Stacey Keys, 4-H Assistant, stacey.keys@unl.edu

Table of Contents

National Youth Science Day Experiements

  • Wired for Wind
  • Rockets to the Rescue
  • Motion Commotion
  • Drone Discovery *NEW 2016*

General School Enrichment

  • Ag-Citing Science
  • Embryology
  • Bully Dance
  • Crime Scene Investigation
  • Money Cents
  • On Your Own & Okay
  • Health Rocks!
  • LEAP Into Careers

Target Audience Programs

  • Get Fit with 4-H
  • Secrets of Service on the Job
  • 6th Grade Conservation Day
  • INVENTure Day
  • Real World Money
  • Connecting the Dots

Request Form

What is 4-H?

4-H is the premier youth development program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Originating in the early 1900’s as “four-square education,” the 4-H’s (head-heart-hands-health) seek to promote positive youth development, facilitate learning, and engage youth in the work of their community through the Extension Service to enhance the quality of life. For more than a hundred years, 4-H has been dedicated to creating research based learning opportunities for youth that broaden skill sand aspirations nurturing the full potential of youth.

National Youth Science Day Experiments

Wired for Wind

As the world’s demand for clean energy sources increases, so has the interest in wind power. This experience will help youth better understand the physics of wind energy and how it can be used to conserve energy and save our planet from the pollution and harm caused by burning fossil fuels. During this experiment youth will design and build two types of wind turbines, then test them to determine which design is more effective in harnessing wind power. Youth will then experiment with different blade pitch angles to determine how each one affects the wine turbines; rotor speech and performance.

Suggested grade level: 5th—8th

Sessions: Two-Three 45-60 minute sessions

Rockets to the Rescue

Rockets to the Rescue is an engaging activity that gives young scientists an opportunity to let their imagination take flight and explore how aerospace engineering addresses real world problems, such as delivering food and supplies in emergency situations. Participants will apply lessons in science, math and physics to design and build an aerodynamic Food Transportation Device (FTD) that can deliver a payload to a desired target using different trajectories.

Suggested grade levels: 4th+

Sessions: Three 30-45 minute sessions

Motion Commotion

Kids who are captivated with the crash collisions and daredevil students of the Fast and Furious movies will have a chance to explore the science that makes it all possible. The Motion Commotion experiment is a two-part science activity that involves every day materials, including a toy car, modeling clay, ruler, calculator and cell phone. In the first phase, youth will construct a simulated runway to analyze the speed, momentum and kinetic energy of a car in motion, and will explore the science behind the cart’s collisions. In the second phase, they will lead an experiment that uses the same physics principles to demonstrate the consequences of distracted driving.

Suggested grade level: 6th-8th

Sessions: Two 45-60 minute sessions

Drone Discovery *NEW 2016*

Drone Discovery, engages youth with fun and educational activities related to aerospace, flight, and unmanned vehicles. Drones are revolutionizing the way we work and play, whether you are a filmmaker looking for the perfect aerial shot, a rescue worker mapping damage from natural disaster or a farmer determining how to increase crop yield. As drones play an increasingly important role in the world around us, this experiment introduces youth to the burgeoning field of drones in a hands-on, interactive design challenge.

Suggested grade level: 4th-6th

Sessions: Two-Three 45-60 minute sessions

General School Enrichment

Ag-Citing Science

Nebraska is home to 47,400 farms and ranches utilizing 93% of the state’s total land area. In order to ensure that Nebraska’s youth have the knowledge and appreciation for Nebraska’s largest industry, this systematic program consists of a series of monthly lessons that teach agricultural facts and celebrate the abundance provided by American agriculture.

All of these lessons are interactive and meet several state standards. Lessons include:

· Hot House Detective

· Pumpkin Life Cycle

· Positively Popcorn

· It’s Made from What?

· Our World

· Wad a Watershed

· Pizza Farm

· My Cheeseburger Came from a Farm

· Pig Basics

· Parts of a Chicken

· Egg Reader

· Embryology—will be on first come first serve basis

The 4-H program feels very passionate about teaching our youth about agriculture, so if you are interested in this program or want more information, please let us know. We can go over the different topics covered in more detail.

Suggested grade level: K-4th

Sessions: Each session is about 30-45 minutes. The program is designed to be taught in full but individual lessons can be utilized individually


4-H Embryology teaches students about science and respect for life. Students hatch chicks in the classroom and witness the exciting miracle of life. Students take the responsibilities of caring for the fertilized eggs and then the chicks after they have hatched. Following each session, the hatched birds are given to local farmers.

Suggested grade level: K+

Sessions: Three 30-45 minute sessions

Bully Dance

Bully Dance is a DVD program that deals with conflict resolution. This DVD shows a bullying situation; where no one stops the dance until serious harm is done. It compels viewers to take stock of their actions and find ways to end peer abuse. The purpose of this program is to provide a starting point to address bullying in your class, the playground, and the school community. There are numerous lessons provided.

Suggested grade level: 2nd—4th

Sessions: One 45 minute session

Crime Scene Investigation

With so many shows on television based around crime scene investigators, it provides a wonderful opportunity to teach youth about the scientific method and how to conduct experiments. The television can make forensic science seem very glamorous or exciting, but in reality it requires lots of patience, dedication, and hard work. This lesson will use two forensic techniques to solve the mystery of who stole the teacher’s laptop.

Suggested grade level: 4th—6th

Sessions: One 45-60 minute session

Money Cents

You’re never too young to start learning how to spend and save money. This program will help students learn more about money through listening to stories and doing “hands-on” activities. Topics will include: history of money, wants and needs, savings, counting money and making change, and consumer sense.

Suggested grade levels: 2nd—3rd

Sessions: Three 45 minute sessions

On Your Own & Okay

About 90% of third graders indicate that they are being left home alone for at least 20 minutes during a typical week. This class will cover a series of lessons about what to do when you are left home alone. Handouts supplement the topics. Topics include:

· Are You Ready?: Youth Assessment, family rules

· Who’s There?: Communication safety tips

· Where To?: Walking to/from school, emergency numbers

· Be Prepared: First aid youth assessment, home hazards

· Snack Attack: Kitchen safety, recipes for snacks

Suggested grade levels: 3rd—4th

Sessions: Three 30-45 minute sessions

Health Rocks!

Health Rocks! is a curricula for a healthy living program where youth participate in hands-on activities that educate them on the consequences of tobacco, alcohol, and drug use. The program aims to:

· Reduce youth smoking and tobacco use.

· Help youth build life skills that lead to healthy lifestyle choices with special emphasis on youth smoking and tobacco use prevention.

· Help youth understand influences and health consequences of tobacco, drug, and alcohol use to make healthy choices.

· Engage youth and adults in partnership to develop and implement community strategies that promote healthy lifestyle choices.

· Build positive, enduring relationships with youth involved as full partners through widely varying “communities of interest” to address youth risk behaviors.

Suggested grade level: 2nd—8th

Sessions: Each session is about 30-45 minutes. The program is designed to be taught in full but individual lessons can be utilized individually

LEAP into Careers

It’s never too soon to encourage students to take the LEAP! The jungle they will face in the world of careers can be pretty overwhelming. How does one decide at 8, 9, 10, or even 18 what career will be a good fit? How does one prepare for a future in which many professions aren’t even a twinkle in somebody’s imagination? The best backpack of skills we can send with young learners is the thirst for knowledge. In this information age. We can’t hope to teach them everything they’ll need to know for a future career. They’ll need to continue to learn over their entire lifetime. The LEAP curriculum was developed to help youth understand various career opportunities in the Nebraska Career Education Career Fields and Clusters. Students design a Learning Experiences Action Plan (LEAP). They’ll create a road map to follow that will help them take full advantage of the many learning opportunities along the path to employment.

Suggested grade level: 4th—6th

Sessions: Four 30-45 minute sessions

Target Audience Programs

Get Fit with 4-H

Get Fit with 4-H will provide easy to use tools and nutritional information that youth will be able to use on a daily basis. Youth will engage in physical activities, such as, walking, running, stretching, aerobics, and yoga. As well as, nutrition and healthy food preparation lessons. Get your 3rd grade class moving!

Suggested grade level: 3rd

Sessions: 45-60 minute sessions

Secrets of Service

“Secrets of Service on the Job” is an interactive entrepreneurial education program which is part of community vitality and is designed to enable youth to develop knowledge and life skills. The workshop will teach the importance of customer service in

the workplace and responsible ethical behavior needed in the community

and on the job.

The program is designed to:

  • Enhance “Secrets of Service on the Job.”

* S - See it from the customer’s point of view

* E - Enjoy helping others

* R - Respond courteously

* V - Volunteer your ideas

* I - I can make a difference

* C- Customer is always right

* E - Every detail matters

  • Develop Entrepreneurial skills:

1) Marketing; 2) Promotion; 3) Design; 4) Buy/sell a product

  • Explore careers and enhance vitality of community

Suggested Grade level: 5th & 6th Grade

Session: Day Long program (8:45 am - 2:15 pm)

Cost: $5/student & adult

6th Grade Conservation Day

This is a fun, educational day planned by the PapioMissouri River NRD, Nebraska Extension, and Natural Resources and Conservation Service. Students participate in a nature hike and workshops where they learn about: native grasses, the water cycle, shrubs, animal trails and foods eaten by wildlife. Information will be sent out to teachers, but if you need additional information please contact the Extension Office.

Suggested grade level: 6th grade

Session: Day long program


An Entrepreneurial Adventure for Middle School Youth!


  • Youth will increase knowledge of local businesses, business owners and community opportunities.
  • Entrepreneurs are engaged with the students in out-school-settings.
  • Youth will identify potential entrepreneurial careers.

Program Topics


  • Investigating Entrepreneurship
  • Find your Passion & Discover Strengths
  • Exploring Your Community
  • Creativity & Teamwork

Field Day:

  • Widget Distribution
  • Product Development
  • Lunch with an Entrepreneur
  • Product Pitch Competition

Suggested Grade level: Middle School

Sessions: A field day experience for youth (8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.). Up to 4 pre-lessons in the classroom.

Real World Money

This interactive financial management program is designed to help 7th grade and 8th students become better prepared to make financial decisions as young adults.

Schools should bring one adult for every ten students. Teachers/adults will work with students to develop financial skills and put them into practice throughout the day in a real world simulation.

The student will:

  • Experience a real life simulation where they can express their views on financial resources and learn the impact of the views on future decisions.
  • Explore careers and resources that are available.
  • Be able to make wise credit choices.
  • Gain a better understanding of family finances.
  • Realize the limits of financial resources both within the family and as a young adult.
  • Have fun learning together.

Suggested Grade level: 7th & 8th

Session: Day long program (9:00 am - 2:30 pm)

Cost: $3/student

Connecting the Dots

This interactive career exploration simulation program is designed to help students learn more about careers of interest as well as how to “connect the dots” from ninth grade through postsecondary study to the workplace. Students will need to complete Kuder career exploration activities prior to registering and will work in teams of two or three based on career interests.

The student will:

  • Experience a “real life” simulation to learn how their high school choices impact their post secondary study and their workplace experiences.
  • Learn more about their favorite careers.
  • Learn about the importance of networking as they begin to prepare for their careers.
  • Build work readiness skills including resume building and interviewing.
  • Complete personality inventories to relate to future jobs.
  • Have fun learning together.

Suggested Grade level: 9th & 10th Grade

Session: Day long program (8:45 am - 2:45 pm)


If you are interested in any of our programming or would like more information, please fill out this request form! We will contact you and let the education through the University of Nebraska - Lincoln begin!

4-H School Enrichment Definition

School enrichment programs are groups of youth or children receiving a sequence of learning experiences in cooperation with school officials during school hours to support the school curriculum. Involves direct teaching by 4-H staff, trained volunteers or teachers.

4-H School Enrichment Purpose

The purpose of a 4-H school enrichment program is to:

· Encourage long-term involvement in 4-H for enhanced positive youth development.

· Enhance the relationship between 4-H and the school system (public or private).

· Provide non-formal education to complement formal education, leading to better educated youth.

· Enhance the subject matter area being studied.

· Foster and promote enthusiasm and support for participation in 4-H programs, events, and activities.

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Structure of a 4-H School Enrichment Experience

· Conducted during school hours in partnership with the classroom instructor.

· A minimum of six hours of programming.

· Engages youth in hands-on learning opportunities that support the school curriculum.

4-H School Enrichment Quality Standards

What does a quality experience look like?

· Delivered by 4-H staff, trained volunteers or teachers.

· A sequential and varied learning experience supporting the school curriculum.

· Youth are able to articulate that this is a 4-H sponsored project.

· An evaluation is completed by teachers and/or school participants.

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