The National 4-H program, along with the National 4-H Council, have announced that their 2011 youth science event will focus on the possibilities of wind energy. The 2011 National Science Experiment, Wired for Wind, will invite youth from across the country to complete a single, innovative experiment around wind energy, on 4-H Youth Science Day, being held on Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2011.
The program was designed by the University of Nebraska – Lincoln Extension in partnership with KidWind. The experiment is set up in a way that will demonstrate how implementing alternatives to traditional energy production can have a positive impact on ecosystems and communities. The 4-H youth who participate in the program will enhance their engineering skills by designing, building and testing two different wind turbine models. Wired for Wind will also help youth relate their scientific experiences back to their own lives as they determine the best location for a wind farm in their state or local area by calculating wind power and studying wind data and maps.
“4-H National Youth Science Day is a great opportunity for young people across the country to have a hands-on experience about a current science topic. Introducing science and technology innovation to youth is why 4-H started more than 100 years ago,” said Lisa Lauxman, director of 4-H National Headquarters. “In the Wired for Wind experiment, youth will explore the science and engineering of wind energy technology, which may be the spark that encourages them to learn more about wind and other alternative energy sources and discuss the implications for the communities where they live.”
Now in it’s fourth year, the National Youth Science Day is a way for students to have hands-on scientific experience. Each year, Cooperative Extension System faculty and staff from the nation’s 109 land-grant colleges and universities are invited to submit proposals outlining and detailing an innovative experiment for youth to conduct during 4 H National Youth Science Day.
“We created this year’s experiment to help young people understand the important link between energy, the environment and their community,” said F. John Hay, Associate Extension Educator in Biological Systems Engineering at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln Extension, who developed the National Science Experiment. “Ultimately, we hope that this experiment will inspire young people to continue their interest in science and engineering throughout their secondary education, into college and on into career opportunities.”