Nebraska Extension 4-H Volunteer Newsletter - July 2019

In the July Spotlight!

  • 4-H Achievement Application

  • Celebrating with Your Club

  • National Youth Science Day

  • Poultry Judging

  • Learn, Grow, Eat & Go

  • Human Development Classes

  • Adventures in Diversity & Cultural Awareness

  • East Campus Union Renovations

4-H Achievement Application- By Melissa Nordboe

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Nebraska 4-H is excited to announce the new Achievement Application form that will be used as an alternative to the Career Portfolio. The Achievement Application will be used at the state level to select winners for 4-H Congress, National 4-H Conference, scholarships, and other leadership opportunities that arise statewide. It will also be used for awards in the county. This new application is a one-page, single form that more closely resembles the kinds of questions being asked on college applications and in resumes. 4-H members will be better prepared to be college and job ready while keeping a record of their past and present accomplishments! For this year, 4-H members can opt to use either the new application or the Career Portfolio at the state level.

The new Achievement Application includes:

  • About Me Page
  • My Experience Pages – Responses limited to 3 pages, single-spaced, 12 point font
  • Representing Nebraska 4-H (National Application) Page – a fourth page is allowed for youth applying as delegates to National 4-H Conference or National 4-H Congress.
  • Nebraska 4-H Foundation Scholarship Page – Youth applying for the State Scholarships must complete this additional section

Only one application is required even if youth are applying for multiple awards and recognition. Applicants will not send a list of awards. Creativity is encouraged! Applications can include bulleted lists, photos, infographics, etc to help tell the 4-H participant’s story.

Applications are available PDF, WORD, or Google Doc at

Celebrating with Your 4-H Club- By Ann Dobesh

Hooray for club celebrations! Whether it’s recognizing club success or winding down the 4-H year, it’s important take the time to celebrate with your 4-H club. Celebrations create an opportunity for members to come together in a positive way and have fun. They can also help inspire members to participate and challenge their skills to a new level.


The 4-H year provides year-round opportunities for your club to recognize the positive things that are happening with your members and in your group. What is it that your group wants to give special attention to? Below are possible reasons to celebrate.

  • New membership - Welcoming new members in a celebratory way can help them build a sense of belonging to the 4-H club.
  • Leadership – Distinguish officers or committee chairs who are taking on a leadership role.
  • Participation - Recognize members for their involvement in the 4-H club.
  • Club Milestones – Celebrate the end of the year or club anniversaries.
  • Club Achievements – Did your club win the Herdsmanship Contest at the county fair? Perhaps you had the most members attend officer training. Make sure to celebrate special accomplishments for your 4-H club.
  • Individual Member Achievements – Highlight a special achievement of members from your club.
  • Celebrate National 4-H Week or Nebraska 4-H month with special club activities


  • Simple – Celebrations can be simple. Bring treats to a club meeting. Have an ice-cream social. Invite members to blow bubbles in recognition for a job well done. Display a congratulatory poster at a meeting. Give out stickers, prizes or certificates.
  • An event or party - The end of the 4-H year is a great time to observe the learning and growth that’s occurred throughout the year. This is also an opportunity to have members help plan. Would they prefer a club cookout, field trip, movie night, fall, or winter party? Help them set parameters (distance, cost, timeframe) so that it’s appropriate to the ages and resources of your families.
  • A ceremony – Ceremonies help to bring reverence and inspiration to moments of importance in a 4-H club. A club officer installation ceremony is one example. You can find examples of scripts for officer installations through club leader resources link:

When looking for inspiration, turn to your 4-H club members. Consider having a celebration committee. Planning a celebration is an opportunity for your members to strengthen their leadership skills. Whether simple or ceremonious, take the time to highlight special moments and achievements. Hooray for club celebrations!

National Youth Science Day- By Jackie Steffen

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Every October 4-H celebrates National Youth Science Day. This is the world’s largest youth-led science experiment. Thousands of youth across the country take part in this event. National Youth Science Day provides access and opportunity for kids to learn about STEM topics by participating in a hands-on STEM challenge. Each year, the National 4-H Council offers a new challenge for youth to complete.

National Youth Science Day events do not only have to take place in October but may be used repeatedly throughout the year in a variety of settings: camp, club, school enrichment, and afterschool. Kits are available to purchase through the 4-H Mall, which include all of the materials and instructions needed to facilitate the challenge. In addition, many Extension offices have collected a supply of National Youth Science Day kits over the years and are willing to check them out to leaders.

National Youth Science Day has taken place for eleven years. Here are some highlights of the most recent years’ curriculum.

2018: Code Your World

Code Your World is a four-part computer science (CS) challenge that teaches youth to apply CS to the world around them through hands-on activities with or without a computer. Code Your World uses games and hands-on fun to teach kids important CS and computational thinking concepts and is perfect for first-time and beginner coders.

2017: Incredible Wearables

Incredible Wearables was designed by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and focuses on wearable technology. Youth use the engineering design process to build a prototype wearable technology that will gather data to help solve a real-world problem. This challenge is suitable for youth 10 and above.

2016: Drone Discovery

Drone Discovery is a hands-on engineering design challenge that explores the science behind drones and how they are used to solve real-world problems. Youth learn everything from flight dynamics and aircraft types, to safety and regulations, to remote sensing and flight control.

2015: Motion Commotion

Motion Commotion empowers youth to explore the physics of motion and distracted driving. It combines a speeding car collision and a distracted driving demonstration in a simulated activity that investigates the physical and human factors of motion.

If you are looking for an educational STEM program for the youth you lead, try one of the National Youth Science Day experiments. Downloadable facilitator and youth guides are available that walk you systematically through the lessons which take between 60-90 minutes. Through STEM programs youth will develop decision-making, problem solving, and critical thinking skills.

4-H Poultry Judging- By Brett Kreifels

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The 4-H Poultry Judging Contest is held every year during the Premier Animal Science Event (PASE) at the Animal Science Building on East Campus. The contest consists of a series of classes that require the participants to evaluate eggs, carcasses and hens based on their commercial grades and merit. The youth rotate from station to station evaluating the classes.

Teams consist of 4 individuals with the top 3 determining the overall score for the team. Youth not on a team are welcome to participate as individuals. If counties cannot form a team from youth in their county, they may combine with youth from another county so long as the counties touch. Example: Youth from Cass County may form a team with youth from Otoe County. Awards are given for the top 5 teams with the top team earning the right to represent Nebraska at the National 4-H Poultry Judging Contest in Louisville, KY in November.

During the contest, the teams will evaluate:

  • Past Production Hens (2 classes with 1 reasons class)
  • Ready to Cook Broilers (8 Broiler Carcasses, Determine USDA Grades)
  • Chicken Retail Cuts (Identify 10 Cuts)
  • Interior Egg Quality (2 Classes, USDA Grades of AA, A, B and Inedible)
  • Exterior Egg Quality (2 classes, USDA Grades of AA, A, B and Dirty)
  • Egg Break Outs (2 classes, USDA Grades of AA, A, B and Inedible)

A possibility for this next year is a 4-H Poultry Quiz Bowl Contest. TBD

Additionally, there will be a Poultry Judging Clinic which is typically held in April at the Animal Science Building on East Campus. Be looking for information regarding this clinic early next year.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us and we’d be happy to answer them.

Dr. Sheila Purdum

Extension Poultry Specialist

Brett Kreifels

Extension Educator, Douglas-Sarpy County

Learn, Grow, Eat & Go- By Melissa Nordboe

Learn, Grow, Eat & Go curriculum, is a 10-week unit of study that is hands-on, multifaceted, and academically great for grades 3-5. This curriculum is a part of the Junior Master Gardener curriculum. It is focused on getting youth to participate in activities where they can learn important science, math and language arts concepts and at the same time be more physically active, improve healthy eating habits and have FUN! The activities presented in this curriculum promotes leadership and responsibility in youth. It is comprised of 20 lessons which features food exposures through fresh sampling and evaluation, garden kitchen recipes, and brief Go Strong exercise to maximize benefits to youth.

The curriculum is split into components:

  • Learn – [Lessons] - including food senses, tasting, plant parts, nutrients, food labels, etc.
  • Grow – [Activities] - including making your own community garden, paper towel planting, preparing a garden
  • Eat – [Exposure] – including food tastings and recipes, raw, fresh vegetable sampling, garden kitchen recipes
  • Go – [Activity] – including 10 physical activities

This curriculum is great if you need a quick activity for your 4-H club meeting during the summer! The activities are easy to set-up and are fun! If you have a younger club, these would be great activities to incorporate for interactions and getting to know other 4-H members. Contact your local Extension Office for more details.

Human (Child) Development Classes- By Lisa Poppe

Have you struggled the last few years trying to understand the child development classes? Well help is here! Classes 1 through 6 came from the child care state mandated curriculum called The Early Learning Guidelines which are divided into seven domains. Exhibit classes 1-6 represent those domains. So when you decide what toy, game or activity you would like to make to exhibit, you must first think about what the child is going to learn while playing with it.

Let’s start with Social & Emotional Development. In this domain, children learn about themselves and the world around them. This area encompasses taking turns, following directions, and establishing a routine. Emotions and feelings are a BIG part of this domain, getting along with others, cooperating and handling frustration.

The Health and Physical Development domain is everything to do with how children grow. If your toy, game or activity enhances fine or large motor skills it could fit here. Exhibits that deal with nutrition and safety are also a good choice.

Children will learn to communicate through words and the written language in the Language and Literacy domain. Exhibits to consider would be items that develop their writing, listening and letter recognition development. This would also include exhibits that involve books and retelling stories.

The Math domain prepares children to learn early math skills through many different ways. Counting, shapes, sorting, patterns, measuring and number recognition fall into this domain.

Children use their imagination in the Creative Arts domain. Musical instruments, finger plays, dancing and pretend play are seen in these exhibits. Be creative if you are developing art materials for children to play with as well. For example, think about ways you can make new paintbrushes out of feathers or sponges.

Finally, is the Science domain. Children are learning to explore the world around them using all of their senses. They also discover how things work in this domain. Don’t forget that there are many types of science…for instance, physical science where you explore properties of materials. Life science where you can observe characteristics of living things. Earth and space science and science/technology. Nature is a BIG part of the Science domain.

As you finish your project and get it ready for the fair, don’t forget the information sheet and answering the 4 questions.

For more information about these domains you can check out:

Adventures in Diversity & Cultural Awareness- By Kathy Pothoff

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Seeing i2i: Adventures in Diversity and Cultural Awareness is a Nebraska 4-H curriculum intended to help youth gain ‘global competence’ and ‘cultural competence’ skills needed in today’s increasingly interconnected world and culturally diverse communities. The curriculum is designed for youth ages 11-14, but can be adapted for younger and older age groups. It can be adapted for use in 4-H clubs, camps, classrooms, afterschool programs, and other youth settings. The hands on lessons are appropriate for smaller groups as well as very large groups. Youth are able to utilize their creativity and express themselves through each of the lessons. Groups may complete the whole curriculum in one year as a club focus project or may highlight different lessons over multiple years. The last unit highlights opportunities that encourage participants to explore ways that they may share information with others and to continue their learning process.

The curriculum helps youth understand that each person has a unique background, history, and identity that makes them special. At the same time, each person is part of a larger community and culture. All persons share traditions, beliefs, customs, and ways of doing things with others. It is these similarities and differences that make the world an interesting place to live in ! Through the i2i curriculum, participants have a chance to think about what makes them different and unique and about things in their background and culture that they share with others.

The i2i Curriculum content centers around five areas:

  • Self-reflection and exploring one’s own heritage, culture, and cultural lens
  • Gaining cultural knowledge and gaining an appreciation for increased cultural awareness
  • Culturally competent attitudes and beliefs
  • Culturally relevant skills and behaviors (e.g., empathy, perspective-taking)
  • Applying knowledge including advocating for others

The lessons are clearly written with supportive directions and background information available in the leaders guide. The material list for each hands on activity is clearly and completely written out for ease in knowing what is needed.

The Leader’s Guide contains all the information needed to conduct the activities in the Seeing i2i: Adventures in Diversity and Cultural Awareness curriculum, including activity descriptions, school standards, instructions, and other instructor resources.

The curriculum is available at the following links: Participant guide: and the Leader guide here:

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East Campus Union Renovations - By Carly Horstman

According to the dictionary, a student union is a building on a college campus that is devoted to student activities and that usually contains lounges, auditoriums, offices, and game rooms. The student union on UNL’s East Campus, called the Nebraska East Union, has all of that and more - it’s just a bit outdated. Built in 1977, the Nebraska East Union was due for a renovation, and we are happy to say that the process has begun this fall.

One of the things the Nebraska East Union houses is the dining hall, where our UNL students can eat their meals. The dining hall is currently on the second floor, but with the renovations will be moved down to the first floor, conveniently close to the Massengale Residential Center. In addition to serving those on a meal plan, the dining hall will have expanded food and seating options for the whole campus community. The projected date for the new dining hall to be completed is the end of summer 2019, with the current dining hall staying open until completion, so students continually have a place to eat on East Campus.

The Nebraska East Union is also home to UNL Bowling, the only Husker athletics team housed on East Campus. The bowling center in the Nebraska East Union is called Lanes n’ Games, and will be upgraded to expand the team space as well as enhance the Husker Experience for bowlers using the space. Nebraska Athletics provided funding to support this portion of the renovation.

The Great Plains Room in the Nebraska East Union is also going to be renovated to update the interior aesthetics, and expanded to increase its size by 30%. Many conferences and large meetings are held in the room, and it is also where the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (CASNR) holds events such as Salute to Graduates, Admitted Student Event, and career fairs. Having this larger function space in the Nebraska East Union will be beneficial to many who come to East Campus.

Alongside these bigger changes, the Nebraska East Union visitors will have access to new and increased lounges and study rooms for building community. There will also be a full Starbucks operation, similar to the one in the Nebraska Union on City campus. The UNL community is excited for these renovations to help meet the changing needs of visitors and those who call East Campus home.

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