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Ohio 4-H Youth Development

Ohio State University Extension


You can support the creation of a new 4-H project book!

Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center staff doing outreach work.

Following the success of the Exploring Polar Science 4-H project book released three years ago, Jason Cervenec and his team at the Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center are excited to share that work has begun on their next project book, Weather and Climate in Your Community.

But they need your help to keep production costs as low as possible. By donating, you can help fund the research and development of the activities and lessons in the project book, guaranteeing that it will be available for purchase at a fraction of the cost required to create the book. Donations will also fund pilot testing of materials with Ohio youth to ensure that they meet the high standards set by 4-H.

This next foray into expanding access to STEM education will help youth explore how weather and climate impacts their communities through hands-on activities and learning opportunities. “This project book will give kids the tools they need to go beyond just understanding the basics of weather and climate Youth participating in experiential learning activities at the Byrd Polar and Climate Research They will learn how to apply the lessons learned to the specific counties and communities where they live,” said Cervenec.

In addition to serving as a learning tool for 4-H’ers, Cervenec hopes this project book will be a resource for 4-H professionals and teachers. “We are designing the activities with the intention that they can be easily adapted for use in classrooms or groups. The impact of weather and climate at the local level isn’t always a focus in school curriculums, so the lessons in this project book would be a way to tie broader discussions on the environment directly back to the kids’ lives.”

As workforce demands for individuals with a background in weather and climate science continue to rise, the book will also be a tool for youth who are considering next steps after graduating high school. Filled with opportunities Staff from the Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center judging 4-H projects at the Ohio State Fair.for self-exploration and discovery, the project book will help youth learn about “traditional” careers associated with weather and climate science and introduce them to new career paths they may not have previously considered.

Cervenec is excited to report that they’ve already found a donor who has agreed to match donations up to $5,000. “For every $1,000 we raise, the donor will give $1,000 to support the creation of the project book. This match will be crucial in helping us meet our goal of raising $10,000,” he said. Cervenec shared that by meeting their fundraising goal, they will be able to cut the selling price of the book in half.

“In recent years we have seen a significant uptick in youth who are interested in learning more about weather and the climate,” said Cervenec. “They want to know how they can better their communities and our hope is this project book will be a first step in helping youth understand the direct impact weather and climate has on the places they live.”