4-H brings STEM Days to school

Youth explored the importance of worms with hands-on worm composting

Red wigglers, the worms used in worm composting, are cool! (Courtesy Photo)

HUDSON, N.Y. — The second Edward J. Arthur Elementary School’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) Days took place on June 6th & 7th. The event was conducted in a round-robin style that allowed the students to rotate between four stations. This year’s stations were: Soil Science, Animal Science, Food Science and Simple Machines.

Soil Science allowed youth to explore the importance of worms with hands-on worm composting.  This station was run by Devon Russ, a CCE Master Gardener Volunteer.  She provided vital hands-on and visual aids as she helped youth discover the hidden insect that helps our earth’s surface.

Animal Science was really Rabbit Science 101. Youth were introduced to the fluffy world of the rabbit through hands-on interactive activities with live rabbit friends! This station taught youth all about proper feeding, care and the everyday life of operating a rabbitry (rabbit farm).  The station was taught by 4-H volunteer, Rebecca Johnk.

Simple Machines helped youth appreciate and explore how hydraulics are very much a part of our everyday lives. Youth were able to put their minds in motion and their fingers to task as they worked together to tackle hydraulic challenges offered by 4-H Leader Kathy Jackson.

Lastly, Food Science, better known as Kitchen Chemistry (the tastiest station of them all) allowed students to investigate the changing states of matter, chemical reactions, and the properties of heavy cream and salt all while making butter.  This fantastic station was conducted by Margaret Smith, CCE 4-H Agriculture and STEM Educator.

Following the two days of programming, a STEM Family Night was held where the students came back to school and taught their families all about the lessons they learned.  “We thought it would be most beneficial to end our event with a teach back session for their families.  This really enabled us to get a handle on what the youth learned as well as what they found the most intriguing. By having the youth come back and teach their guardians we really are able to see how effective our program is for youth”, said Margaret Smith, 4-H Agriculture and STEM educator.  This event is supported by funds from the Athens Community Foundation and made possible by Edward J. Arthur Principal Jim Martino and staff.  For more information or if you have questions, please contact Margaret M. Smith at 518-828-3346 x201 or

Cornell Cooperative Extension is an employer and educator recognized for valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans, and Individuals with Disabilities and provides equal program and employment opportunities.  The programs provided by this organization are partially funded by monies received from the Counties of Columbia and Greene.

4-H is New York’s only youth development program directly connected to the technological advances and the latest research at Cornell University. 4-H participants learn leadership, citizenship and life skills through hands-on projects in three primary program areas: science and technology; healthy living; and citizenship. To find out more about 4-H and youth programs in Columbia and Greene Counties, contact us at 518-828-3346 or or visit our website, . You can also “Like” us on Facebook…Cornell Cooperative Extension of Columbia and Greene Counties.

–Ashley Foland – 4-H summer Intern
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Columbia and Greene Counties

For more articles out of New York, click here.

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