Friday, October 23

Students in Rural Parishes Experience 4-H National Youth Science Day

William Augustine works with youth at Church Point Middle School

East Beauregard Elementary School youth enjoy the 4-H Science Day experience

Youth at Merryville Elementary School

Krystle J. Washington works with youth at Singer Elementary School
Baton Rouge, La. - The Southwest Center for Rural Initiatives (SCRI) sponsored 4-H National Youth Science Day (NYSD) events for over 600 students during the last week.  Youth in St. Landry, Beauregard, and Acadia Parishes joined hundreds of thousands of youth across the world in the eighth annual 4-H National Youth Science Day Experiment, which combined cars, calculators and cell phones to show how physics principles influence a pressing problem among U.S. teens. This year’s experiment was titled ‘Motion Commotion.’

Students from Singer Elementary, East Beauregard Elementary, and Merryville High School in Beauregard Parish, and Church Point Middle School in Acadia Parish, participated in the events. Students conducted the two-part ‘Motion Commotion’ experiment using every day materials – including a toy car, modeling clay, ruler, calculator and a cell phone – to explore physics in the real-world.

In the first phase of the experiment, youth constructed a simulated runway to analyze the speed, momentum and kinetic energy of a car in motion, and explored the science behind the car’s collisions. In the second phase, they led an experiment that uses the same physics principles to demonstrate the consequences of distracted driving.

 “4-H has aimed to teach students science for over a century, it is important that students in the 10- parish rural areas that the SCRI covers have the same access to STEM activities. When going into these communities, we [Goldie Jordan and William Augustine] are looking at future scientist, engineers, physicist, etc. and it’s amazing to see the excitement on their faces as we expose them to the world of science in a fun and interactive way.” said Krystle J. Washington, Science Day Event Organizer at the Southwest Center for Rural Initiatives.

In addition to the experiment, Washington also adds a public speaking portion at the summation of the project. A student has to use scientific terms to adequately explain what took place throughout the experiment to their peers.
4-H NYSD is the world’s largest, youth-led science experiment. The national day is dedicated to engaging kids with science through a hands-on, interactive learning experience that gets youth excited about science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The event also spotlights the many ways youth in East Baton Rouge Parish are engaging in 4-H Science programs year-round.

SCRI is a satellite campus of the Southern University Ag Center located in Opelousas. During the upcoming weeks, we look forward to bringing the 4-H National Youth Science Day experience to the remainder of our ten-parish region.

Krystle J. Washington, Extension Educator/ Community Development Southwest Center for Rural Initiatives Southern University Ag Center can be reached at (337) 943-2410.


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