4-H Robotics Youth Development Program
An interactive curriculum was designed for 5-7 year olds to engage them in hands-on coding opportunities. This curriculum can be used by Extension Agents, volunteers, and others to introduce youth to programming concepts. The material has been piloted with 4 Extension Agents June 22-23. These agents will introduce the material to youth who meet in school clubs and at local libraries. Another pilot will be conducted the first week in July with 5-7 year olds. Further, training on this curriculum will be offered at the 4-H Robotics Academy in late July. An evaluation tool has also been developed for use with the curriculum. It is estimated that 100 youth will be reached as the pilot phase rolls out July – October.
The Robot Reading Rally provides hands-on activities for youth to engage with as they discover robots in literature. Research suggests that girls are more likely to engage with STEM related content if a story is involved. This publication helps to bridge the gap between the two. It also allows youth who might not have the resources to own a robot a way to participate in robotics learning opportunities. The Mississippi Library Commission is looking at using this publication to create a lending box of books that can be checked out by libraries across the State to use in conjunction with this publication.
The Robot Rally Lift-Off gives parents an idea of what opportunities are available for their child to extend their coding knowledge. Most of the suggested packages are free or low-cost. Two of the suggested coding packages will be used in the 4-H Computer Contest for Junior 4-H’ers at District contests.
A website (4hrobotics.msucares.com) provides access to these materials as well as other educational materials related to coding and robotics. This website will be used by Extension agents and educators throughout the State to find information and resources for their youth.