4H Robotics STEAMs up Summer for Local Youth

4HRoboticsTeam Boulder City Nevada

Pictured (left to right): Patrick, Tucker, Owen, and Avalon McNary. Not pictured: Maeli McNary

Many people think of the 4H program as a rural educational program designed to teach youth positive life experiences through various activities such as animal husbandry, gardening, and other agriculture activities. But the four “Hs” of 4H stand for “Head, Heart, Hands, and Health”. It’s an opportunity for children ages 5 to 19 to participate in quality experiences that focus on lifelong learning and skill building.

So it’s no surprise that one of the most exciting activities within the 4H program is its robotics team. STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) education is crucial for young people these days and 4H has developed a wildly popular robotics team. It consists of kids who learn engineering, driving, coding, marketing, and scouting for their robotics team. Through these activities, the participants learn communication, leadership, teamwork, and sportsmanship.

We recently had the wonderful opportunity to speak with family heavily involved in the 4H Robotics Team. They are siblings Avalon (20), Maeli (16), Owen (11), and Tucker (8) McNary. Avalon has gone thru the entire program and now serves as a mentor and encourager for her younger siblings. Maeli was part of the recent award winning robotics team from Boulder City High School. Owen and Tucker are younger, but have a good deal of experience in the program already!

The 4H Robotics Team aka the Boulder City SuperBots, has adopted FIRST robotic principles and participates in the FIRST program. The guiding principles of FIRST include:

What is FIRST®? FIRST® is a robotics community that prepares young people for the future and the world’s leading youth-serving nonprofit advancing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Founded by inventor Dean Kamen in 1989, FIRST has evolved into a global movement by combining the excitement of traditional sports with the rigor of STEM learning, engaging millions of people with programs that have a proven impact on learning, interest, and skill-building inside and outside of the classroom. FIRST builds powerful mentorship relationships between young people and STEM professionals, helping kids gain confidence to explore the innovation process while they learn valuable science, engineering, technology, teamwork, and problem-solving skills. FIRST creates the people who will change the world – today and tomorrow. FIRST offers a suite of robotics programs for PreK-12 (ages 4-18): FIRST® Robotics Competition for grades 9-12 (ages 14 to 18); FIRST® Tech Challenge for grades 7-12 (ages 12 to 18); and FIRST® LEGO® League with divisions spanning grades PreK-8 (ages 4 to 16). Students can join any of our three programs based on age or grade level. Ages may vary by region. Each program can be facilitated in school or afterschool.

The local Boulder City team is looking for additional team members as well as sponsors for this season. You can find out more about Boulder City 4H Robotics by clicking HERE. If you’d like to donate to help them reach their fundraising goals for this season, click HERE. They’d like to add 3-4 additional team members to their group. Additionally, they are about $4000 short of their fundraising goal for the year which they’d like to reach before September 7 when the Las Vegas Expo occurs.

In speaking with Avalon, it was clear that she had taken a lot of the lessons learned through the 4H Robotics Team and applied them to her current life. She spoke about the origins of the program; it was started by Bill and Mayra Zielinski. She talked about how the program helped her become less introverted and assisted her in learning robotic principles and techniques.

During the summer, the group will be active in the community. They will be hosting a STEM program at Little Lambs Childcare and Preschool, working with other local community groups like Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, and participating in helping projects wherever they can. Part of the program includes helping at neighborhood events, volunteering, and community outreach, to give back to the community so don’t be surprised if you see them around town in various capacities.

For more information about this very worthwhile program, please contact Patrick McNary by clicking HERE. Let’s continue to support the young people in our community who are doing positive things with their lives!

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