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Subtle Shifts To Advance 4-H Science-Readiness. NYS 4-H STEM Academy. Slides adapted by permission from “Are You 4-H Science Ready?” webinar (Oct 2011) by Jill Walahoski & Jessie Bauman - University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension.

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nys 4 h stem academy

Subtle Shifts To Advance 4-H Science-Readiness

NYS 4-H STEM Academy

Slides adapted by permission from “Are You 4-H Science Ready?” webinar (Oct 2011) by Jill Walahoski & Jessie Bauman - University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension

A professional development event brought to you by the NYS 4-H Office and 4-H STEM PWT


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  • Become more familiar with the 4-H Science Checklist criteria and howthey can guide high quality 4-H STEMprojects
  • Learn about 4-H STEM terminology and resources
  • Do a “shifted” inquiry activity with your colleagues to explore how we can adapt existing activities and projects
  • Learn with and from your colleagues, and continue the conversation
polycom ground rules
Polycom Ground Rules
  • Asking Questions…
  • …..
how much do you know

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How Much Do You Know?!
  • Are you familiar with the 4-H “Science Checklist?”
  • Is it useful?
  • Can you explain what “4-H Science Ready” means?
definition 4 h science at national level equivalent to 4 h stem in new york

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Definition: 4-H Science (at national level)[equivalent to 4-H STEM in New York]
  • 4-H Science is the combination of the context of youth development and the content and processes of science
  • = 4-H Science Ready Programs


setting the stage in formal non formal formal stem education

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Setting the StageIn-Formal – Non-Formal – FormalSTEM Education

4-H: non-formal STEM education

Facilitated Learning

From Horton, Gogolski, and Warkentien, 2007. Science, Engineering, and Technology

(SET) Programming in the Context of 4-H Youth Development

stem science technology engineering and mathematics

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STEM - Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.  
  • Commonly used acronym in education, research, policy, and funding communities
  • Scientistsexplore the natural world
  • Engineerscreate the designed world
  • Technologists use knowledge to adapt the natural and designed world
  • Math is the language of science,
  • engineering, and technology(applied math)
  • Tools of the Trade Session 2: Explore It! Design it! Use it!

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4-H Science (national)

S.E.T.(original national and other states still using)

Inquirya key ingredient – how science is done

STEM Abilities (science process skills) are needed to do inquiry.When learners do inquiry they:

  • develop abilities to do science and think critically
  • use abilities to:
      • learn by connecting previous knowledge with current experience
      • identify and investigate novel experiences to build new ideas

(From '90-minute Science Process Skills', Adapted for 4-H by the Institute for Inquiry)

purpose of 4 h stem checklist

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Purpose of 4-H STEM Checklist
  • Guides efforts in developing high quality science programs
  • NYS 4-H STEM Checklist adapted from national
  • Answers the questions:
    • “How do I know what counts as a ‘Science-Ready’ 4-H STEM project?”
    • What does a 4-H STEM project look like?
    • What elements should be included when planning a 4-H STEM project?
nys 4 h stem checklist interchangeable with national checklist

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NYS 4-H STEM Checklist(interchangeable with national checklist)

High-quality 4-H STEM programs:

  • Integrate essential elements of PYD
  • Are led by trained staff and volunteers; youth are partners and resources
  • Engage youth in experiential and inquiry based learning
  • Target 4-H Science Logic Model Outcomes; duration and frequency appropriate to reach outcomes
  • Target the development of STEM abilities
  • Are based on science standards

YD Context

Science Content and Process


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1. Integration of the Essential Elements of Positive Youth DevelopmentBELONGING, INDEPENDENCE, GENEROSITY, MASTERY
  • How do high quality 4-H STEM programs and projects contribute to PYD?
  • Does the programming intentionally provide youth opportunities for belonging, independence, generosity and mastery?
  • Essential Elements Training Curriculumhttp://www.4-h.org/resource-library/professional-development-learning/
2 experiences led by trained caring adult staff and volunteers

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2. Experiences led by trained, caring adult staff and volunteers
  • What does it mean to have programs delivered by staff and volunteers trained in positive youth development practices and best practices for delivering science content?
  • Does the program have access to content experts? What if the leader isn’t an expert at the topic?
  • Does the program utilize youth as partners? Do adult leaders serve as coaches and co-learners?

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A Facilitator is like a good coach:

  • Let the players play the game - Coach stays on the sideline – guide, instruct, co-learn
  • Center of learning activity needs to focus on learners
  • Be flexible and provide enough time
  • Give learners latitude to explore
  • Okay not to have answers – learn together, be comfortable in role of learner

Source: national 4-H Inquiry-based learning videos

3 activities are led with an experiential and inquiry approach

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3. Activities are led with an experiential and inquiry approach
  • Does the program intentionally utilize these approaches?
  • To learn how to do science, experiential is essential, but not enough
  • Experiential + Inquiry:
    • Meaning making (come to understand important ideas)
    • Acquire important knowledge and skills
    • Transfer learning to new situations
subtle shifts shifted helicopter activity

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“Subtle Shifts”Shifted Helicopter Activity


  • Do the activity at your sites
  • Compare to the ‘unshifted’ version. What differences do you see?
  • What are some “subtle shifts” that can be made?
  • How can this approach help with incorporating inquiry into existing projects?



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Experiential Learning Model

  • Where can inquiry fit into an experiential learning model?

Tools of the Trade Session 4

promising practices for inquiry

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Promising Practices for Inquiry
  • I WONDER wall
  • STEM Word Wall
  • Call them: “ornithologists,” “geologists,” “soil scientists”…
  • Find ways to publish student work
  • Getting kids outside generates questions
  • “That’s what scientists do…” “That’s the kind of questions that scientists ask”
  • Jennifer Fee’s suggestions at the Spring 4-H STEM PWT Retreat
the best way to learn science is to do science

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Why Inquiry?

The best way to learn science is todo science
  • Learner-centered
  • Uses natural curiosity to motivate us to learn (enhances learning)
  • Allows learners to decide how to find the answer to a question
  • Can effectively teach content
  • Helps develop scientific process skills/abilities and independent thinking skills
  • Complements the experiential learning approach and activities that are already used in 4-H
  • Learning is a social process; inquiry is a social process
what does inquiry look like

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What does Inquiry look like?

Follow Science process rules: come up with a claim that can be supported by evidence that has been shared with peers

  • Learner-centered – youth are in charge of learning
  • Adult serves as coach/facilitator
  • Learning is intentional
  • Active, open questioning
  • Opportunities for active investigations that include acquisition of knowledge and skills
  • Flexible – can utilize different types of inquiry: Structured, Guided, Open
  • Aligns with research base about how kids learn
how do i u se inquiry

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How Do I Use Inquiry?
  • Adult’s job: understand what the youth know, what they want to know, and support them getting there; keep them safe and provide supplies
  • Provide a context that sparks interest, that gets youth wondering
  • Ask open-ended questions; repeat concepts in their words, then provide name to reinforce concept
  • Provide time to explore and wonder
  • Let them arrive at their own testable question
  • Ask “What do you think will happen…?”
  • Encourage generation of additional or new questions
questions that p romote l earning

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Questions That Promote Learning

“The critical element to inquiry is that the child seeks answers to questions and is not given answers” (Marek & Cavallo, 1997, p. 22)

  • Open Questions – do not have a single or right answer
  • Closed Questions – fact-based or memory recall; some may be answered with yes or no
  • Broad Questions – a variety of acceptable and sometimes unpredictable responses
  • Focused Questions – particular, predictable responses

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4. Programs target the outcomes of the 4-H Science Logic Model and consider the appropriate frequency and duration
  • Do the program outcomes align with one or more outcomes of the national and/or New York State 4-H Science/STEM Logic Model?
  • Are the program hours and frequency appropriate for accomplishing the intended outcomes?
stem outcomes
STEM Outcomes

Think of a particular child you work with:

  • What does this child now know, what skills have they developed or what attitudes have evolved?
  • What would you hope they do or achieve as a result of what they know?
  • How could this impact the conditions of their life and potentially of others?
outcomes what has changed as a result of the program
OutcomesWhat has changed as a result of the program?

In the previous scenario:

  • Short-term outcomes (KASA – knowledge, awareness, attitudes, skills, aspirations)
  • Mid-term outcomes (behavior changes)
  • Long-term outcomes (conditions, public value)
5 opportunities to improve science abilities skills that enable anyone to do science

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5. Opportunities to improve Science Abilities (skills that enable anyone to do science)

The 30 4-H STEM Abilities can be categorized within seven Science Process Skills:

  • Observing
  • Questioning
  • Hypothesizing
  • Predicting
  • Planning and Investigating
  • Interpreting
  • Communicating

See ‘4-H SET Abilities Related to the Science Process Skills’ handout from Training Guide for The Power of Wind (p.101)

4 h stem abilities science process skills

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4-H STEM Abilities / Science Process Skills
  • Do the program activities intentionally target one or more of the STEM abilities?
  • Does the delivery of the program include strategies planned to develop or strengthen one or more of the abilities?
  • Is it easier to embed the 30 4-H STEM Abilities into 7 overriding process skills?
6 programs based on national science education standards

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6. Programs based on National Science Education Standards

NSES Content and Process Skills:

  • Science as Inquiry
  • Physical, Life, Earth & Space Sciences
  • Science and Technology
  • Science in Personal and Social Perspectives
  • History and Nature of Science
national science education standards nrc 1996

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National Science Education Standards (NRC 1996)

The 4-H Science Initiative is based on the National Science Education Standards. The NSES present a vision of a scientifically literate populace with the principles:

  • Science is for all youth.
  • Learning science is an active process (inquiry based).
  • Science reflects the intellectual and cultural traditions that characterize the practice of contemporary science.
  • The Standards outline content youth need to learn about science.
6 next generation science standards new common core standards http www nextgenscience org

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6. Next Generation Science Standards- newCommon Core Standardshttp://www.nextgenscience.org
  • Depthover breadth in science education
  • Greater coherence in learning across grade levels
  • Helping students understand the cross-cutting nature of crucial concepts, such as energy and matter, that span scientific disciplines.
  • Ensure that students apply their learning through scientific inquiry and the engineering-design process to deepen their understanding.
how to assess your program for 4 h science readiness

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How to Assess your Program for 4-H Science Readiness

Analyze program on content and context

Compare checklist items to…

  • Curriculum used
  • Activities
    • County and State Activities
    • Club or Group Activities
    • Activities done at home
  • Participation Structures
    • Program Context

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UPCOMING RESOURCEShttp://www.4-h.org/resource-library/professional-development-learning/science-training-guides-resources/
  • Watch for national 4-H Science webinars
  • Why Science & Science Self-assessment online learning module is now under development.
  • Evaluation Basics – multiple online learning modules under development
  • Additional modules on Inquiry-based Learningcoming this fall
  • Archived national Adobe Connect webinars are being repurposed. The webinars will be edited and turned into Adobe Presenter presentations with engagement activities. Will be available as MP3 file podcasts on national Online Learning Center.
wrap up

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Wrap Up
  • We hope you will continue this discussion with your colleagues and let us know what further professional development opportunities would be helpful
  • Please send your site notes so we can share and learn from what each site discussed
  • Thank you for completing the evaluation form!