ATHENS, Ga. — The Georgia 4-H Science and Environmental Education Program will be offering new “Zoom into Science” sessions for the fall. This collection of virtual learning lessons allows youth from across the country to connect with scientists, researchers and engineers through an online communication platform, Zoom.
The “Zoom into Science” series began in May, offering five sessions on topics ranging from space, weather and water to prosthetics and paleontology. Due to the success of the summer sessions, plans are underway for more learning opportunities this fall. Each one-hour Zoom session allows participants to learn from specialists and experts, as well as to be exposed to a variety of science-related careers. Each session will include a presentation from an expert or specialist and conclude with a Q&A portion with participants. All sessions are free to attend and open to the public. Overall, the series has reached more than 300 people from across the country.
“It is inspiring to see scientists take the time to teach youth about their work,” said Kasey Bozeman, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension 4-H specialist for Science and Environmental Education Programs. “Anything we can do to get young people excited about science topics and potentially inspire science careers is a wise investment of our time. I am particularly excited that we will be featuring some researchers from within UGA’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences over the next few months.”
The next session, to be held August 6, will highlight plant genetics. Participants will be joined by Wayne Parrott of the UGA Institute of Plant Breeding, Genetics and Genomics. During his session, Parrott will share information about genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and genome editing in plants. Participants can register for the session at tinyurl.com/scizoomplantgenetics.
The next session will be held on August 20 and will highlight rats. Idaho State University doctoral student Aimee Bozeman will focus on rats and how they can be used to study human behavior and motion. Participants can register for the session at tinyurl.com/scizoomrats.
A session on September 3 will feature Angela Bliss, stormwater specialist with the Chatham County Department of Engineering. She will be sharing information on stormwater, the importance of preventing water pollution and how to label storm drains. Participants can register for the session at tinyurl.com/scizoomstormwater.
The following session, on September 17, will focus on the genetics of some of our favorite fruits and vegetables and why they have their shapes. Participants will be joined by UGA Institute of Plant Breeding, Genetics and Genomics Professor Esther van der Knaap. Participants can register for the session at tinyurl.com/scizoomproduce.
A session on October 1 will feature Georgia 4-H staff at the Sea Turtle Center on Jekyll Island. They will be sharing information on sea turtles, and participants will have a chance to meet current turtle patients and hear their recovery stories. Participants can register for the session at tinyurl.com/scizoomseaturtles.
The next session, to be held October 17, will highlight food safety. Participants will be joined by Manpreet Singh of the UGA Department of Poultry Science. During his session, Singh will share information about bacteria, food safety and the importance of washing your hands. Participants can register for the session at tinyurl.com/scizoomfoodsafety.
Georgia 4-H empowers youth to become true leaders by developing necessary life skills, positive relationships and community awareness. As the largest youth leadership organization in the state, 4-H reaches more than 242,000 people annually through UGA Extension offices and 4-H facilities. For more information, visit georgia4h.org or contact your local Extension office.
–Cristina Luisa deRevere, Georgia 4-H