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Reservation youth explore hands-on science experiments


Reservation youth view fine details of insects & plants through use of a microscope. - Ian Wilder photo

October 12, 2013 – Colville Reservation youth celebrated National 4-H week by participating in 4-H Super Science Saturday at Keller. This event was a fun-filled day of hands-on science experiments designed to ignite an interest in scientific exploration and encourage youth to learn about the different sciences.

Youth from across the reservation came together to experience a variety of science topics such as Forestry, Power Generation, Mapping, Building Bridges, Magnetic Attractions, Water Tension, Boats – Floating/Sinking, Microscope Slide Viewing, Fish & Wildlife and Picture You at WSU. Professionals and volunteers alike were on hand to provide guidance and mentoring for these hands-on learning opportunities.

This event is a part of the STAR (Science and Technology Across the Reservation) Program. "There is a shortage of scientists, nationwide," stated Linda McLean, WSU Colville Reservation Extension Educator. "By offering hands-on science exploration, we hope to encourage more youth to enter scientific fields of study." She went on to say, "Typically, boys are more interested in the sciences, but during the 4-H Super Science Saturday, two-thirds of those participating were girls."

4-H programs strive to "make the best better" by allowing youth to "learn by doing." Rather than just read about things, 4-H members are encouraged to explore through hands-on learning opportunities. There are over 100 different project areas that youth can participate in, including large animals, small animals, horses, gardening, foods preservation, clothing & textiles, photography, shooting sports, computers, performing arts and more. Where there is an interest, 4-H offers opportunities for youth to gain life skills to help them grow into caring and contributing citizens of their communities.

Those providing education during 4-H Super Science Saturday were: Steve McConnell, WSU Regional Forestry Specialist, Cydonie Fukami, Grand Coulee Dam Visitor Arrival Center, Janine Koffel, WSU Colville Reservation-Ferry County OJJDP-FYP Mentoring Grant Coordinator, Kayla Wells, WSU Colville Reservation-Ferry County Extension and Autumn Jones, WSU Tribal Liaison Office.

For information on how to become a 4-H leader or how you can start a 4-H club in your area, please contact Linda McLean, Colville Reservation-Ferry County Extension Educator, (509) 634-2305 or . Or you may contact Dan Fagerlie, Project Director, (509) 690-0009 / (509) 775-3087 or or Debra Hansen, Interim Ferry County Director, (509) 775-5225 ext. 1116 or the Okanogan County Extension office (509) 422-7245.

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