Boonton Resident is Among Winners at County Fair

Local residents received high honors at the Morris County 4-H Fair, held on July 15-19 at Chubb Park in Chester. Youth and 4-Hers from Morris County were welcome to compete in divisions such as photography, woodworking, fine art and crafts with projects completed prior to the fair. Projects were judge based on the Danish system; awarded excellent, very good, good or fair ribbons. These judged projects were on display during the fair… Also winning big in the foods division was Boonton native Arianne Grevesen, a member of the Buckanears 4-H Small Animal Club. She received a best in show for her cannoli cupcakes in the Backed Goods Unit Grades four-eight… The Rutgers Cooperative Extension 4-H Youth Development Program uses a "learn by doing approach to enable youth to develop the knowledge, attitudes, and skills they need to become competent, caring and contributing citizens of the world."

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4-H Science Ambassador Program Helps Rahway Students Gain Knowledge Through Research

Children at the Rahway Public Library got a fun introduction to the principles of the scientific method this summer from a group of volunteer Union County 4-H Science Ambassadors. The projects included blowing bubbles and a simple "ski slope" demonstration… 4-H is a national youth development program. In Union County, 4-H is supported by the Freeholder Board, Rutgers University’s Cooperative Extension, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture… To prepare for their Rahway Library presentation in July, they attended the 4-H Summer Science Program at Rutgers University earlier in the month. They lived on campus at the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences during the one-week program, learning about scientific investigation as it relates to current issues and challenges.

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Cumberland County 4-H Presents at National Marine Educators Conference

4-H Agent Julie Karavan works with youth on SeaPerch Robotics Project (club photo).

4-H Agent Julie Karavan (at top) works with youth on SeaPerch Robotics Project. Photo credit: Cumberland County 4-H.

County 4-H Agent Julie Karavan was awarded the Expanding Audiences Scholarship, which allowed her to attend the National Marine Educators Association Conference in Newport, Rhode Island, held June 29-July 2. Karavan presented two professional development workshops related to her extension teaching and practice in Cumberland County.

Her presentation, Aquatic Robotics, was offered educators information and hands-on experience relating to two marine robotics platforms Karavan has taught: SeaPerch and Waterbotics. She adapted the Waterbotics curriculum for younger audiences at the Millville Schools Club 21st Century Program in July of 2014, reaching over 40 students. A shortened version of the program was also offered at the 4-H Center to 20 Bridgeton Pathways 21st Century summer camp students. While serving as County 4-H Agent in Cape May, Karavan fielded three award winning teams to the Greater Philadelphia SeaPerch Challenge and utilized the PVC-based underwater robots in school enrichment programs. [Read more…]

Cumberland County 4-H Invites Bridgeton Pathways Students to “Spy” on Nature

Students in the Bridgeton 21st Century Pathways Program took part in hands-on experiential learning with Cumberland County 4-H during the week of July 13th… The Rutgers Cooperative Extension 4-H Youth Development Program partnered with Bridgeton Schools to engage youth in science, engineering, and the arts. The week-long program, designed by County 4-H Agent Julie Karavan, invited students to spy on nature, learning how Rutgers scientists and engineers monitor local species and habitats. Students produced their own constructions and personal creations- including underwater robots, contact prints, poetry, and artwork, based on their first-hand observations… The program included a service learning opportunity with Jenny Paterno of Project PORTS. Participants visited the Rutgers Haskin Shellfish Lab and created over 100 shell bags to provide habitat to oysters. Students also were able to take a tour of the gardens at Rutgers Cooperative Extension, where they constructed LEGO based underwater robots designed to retrieve a simulated biological sample or marine debris… "Rutgers colleagues made this a fabulous experience for the kids," said Karavan. "Having a 4-H alum return in a staff position to teach in the schools really enriched the program."

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Rutgers 4-H Hosts Azerbaijani Youth Learning About Democracy and Entrepreneurship

County agent, Alayne Torretta, 2nd from left and Azeris meet with Gregory Marcus, in suit and tie in back, from the US Department of State.

County agent, Alayne Torretta, 2nd from left and Azeris meet with Gregory Marcus, in suit and tie in back, from the US Department of State.

Over the course of three weeks in June this year, 18 youth and two adult educators from Azerbaijan participated in a Youth Leadership Program funded by the U.S. Department of State and facilitated by the 4-H programs of University of Delaware and Rutgers University. During this exchange program, which focused on the general themes of civic education, leadership development, entrepreneurship, and community service, the Azerbaijani youth toured parts of the U.S., learning about democracy and hearing tips and tricks from successful entrepreneurs from New Jersey.

Each of the entrepreneurs the youth heard from had their own methodology for success. One family owned business, Wild West City – a theme park in Netcong, NJ, has been tremendously successful in keeping true to the mission set forth in 1963, while another amusement park ,the Land of Make Believe in Hope, NJ, found success in expanding and growing. “Each of them gave the youth sage advice: Stay focused and realize that no job is beneath you,” said Alayne Torretta, County 4-H Agent for Rutgers Cooperative Extension and program coordinator for the Rutgers grant. In addition, they met entrepreneur Carol Bailey who holds a patent in England for reusable shopping bags that fold into one another called Shopparoos. She spoke with the teens about patenting great ideas and how to market them by keying in on their unique selling point. “We were able to take advantage of the New Ventures and Entrepreneurship program at Rutgers as well,” said Torretta, “Lori Dars was amazing and got the kids thinking of how to write a business plan. They also met a graduate student entrepreneur who spoke about the exciting work he is doing. Several of the teens expressed interest in attending Rutgers once they are finished with schooling in Azerbaijan. [Read more…]