NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — With the support of National 4-H Council and Google, NJ 4-H has been able to create and distribute 700 CS Unplugged Family Kits to community partners in some of the state’s most urban areas, including Atlantic, Bergen, Essex, Passaic, Mercer, Middlesex, & Union Counties. With continued restrictions on in-person programming for NJ 4-H, one way to continue to stay connected is to provide resources to some of its many community partners around the state. Many of the NJ 4-H programs in urban areas provide STEM programming on a regular basis in collaboration with these community partners, running Science Saturdays, participating in library Maker Days, and running afterschool programs focused on STEM.
CS Unplugged family kits are being distributed through different community partners around the state. Community partners include local libraries, public school systems, Boys and Girls Clubs, YMCA’s, and local food distribution sites, reaching mostly non-4-H families. Because NJ 4-H faculty and staff usually provide in person programming and are not able to during this time, this is one way for NJ 4-H to stay connected to its many community partners.
CS Unplugged Family Kits consist of the following: My 2020 COVID-19 Time Capsule (along with 4-H Colored Pencils), Family Technology Cards (Greater Cincinnati STEM Collaborative), Chalk Coding Activity with Sidewalk Chalk (Utah 4-H), Origami Coding Activity with Origami paper (Teach Your Kids to Code Website), and SparkFun Paper Circuit Activity (batteries included).
All computer science activities included in these kits are hands-on, and family friendly, something the whole family can work on together without a computer. Materials are provided for many of the activities and other activities need materials can be found around the home.
Here’s how one local library is getting CS Unplugged kits out to families.
–Marycarmen Kunicki, Rutgers Extension