Urban High School Students Dive Deep into Science at Rutgers University

Summer Science Students.

Summer Science Students.

Annual 4-H Summer Science Program was held July 11-15 on the Cook Campus

Over sixty high school students from Elizabeth, Newark, New Brunswick, Passaic, Paterson, Trenton, Rahway and Atlantic City participated in hands-on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) activities alongside Rutgers faculty at the 8th annual 4-H Summer Science Program on the Rutgers-New Brunswick campus.

“The students spent a week with Rutgers scientists–touring their labs, learning about their research, and how their scientific inquiry is relevant to our daily lives,” said Chad Ripberger, Rutgers Cooperative Extension (RCE) 4-H agent, Mercer County. And because the students were living on campus, they also got a taste of university life.

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Middlesex County set for 78th annual fair

One of Central Jersey’s largest events, the Middlesex County Fair, promises fun, farm and animal flair as the venture gets ready to start its 78th year in "business."… Celebrating 250 years of Rutgers: The Middlesex County Fair is one of several county fairs celebrating Rutgers’ 250th anniversary with special interactive displays designed to bring attendees closer to the revolutionary history of its state university. For generations, Rutgers has been a vital partner in the Garden State’s county fair tradition through Rutgers Cooperative Extension and its 4-H Youth Development Program. To honor the milestone anniversary, all of the state’s county fairs will feature the theme, "Rutgers. Revolutionary for 250 Years." Fairgoers will have the chance to be a part of history under a special tent that recreates the Nov. 10, 1766 signing of the charter that launched Queens College, the precursor to Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Interactive cut-out figures for photo opportunities and "Rutgers 250" plant breeding products are also new this year.

Read the entire article at My Central Jersey »

Program for Somerset County students harvests salads, and learning

This spring, the Seeds to Salads program run by the Rutgers Master Gardeners of Somerset County reaped in giant salads which fed more than 300 children, teachers, and Master Gardener volunteers. Volunteers in the program worked with third-graders at Whiton Elementary School in Branchburg, and with second-, third- and fourth-graders at Pine Grove Manor Elementary School in Franklin Township.

Read the entire article at My Central Jersey »

Somerset County 4-H Sends 3 Members to National 4-H Citizenship Conference

Three Somerset County 4-H members will travel to the nation’s capital to represent New Jersey at the 2016 Citizenship Washington Focus (CWF) Conference… "The conference provides opportunities for young people to identify individual citizenship rights and responsibilities; identify issues facing youth and explore causes and possible solutions; establish communication with law makers; witness government in action; and develop a personal citizenship action plan" said Lisa Rothenburger, Somerset County 4-H Agent.

Read the entire article at Tap Into Sommerville »

Ethel A. Jacobsen First-Graders Harvest Garlic Scapes From Schoolyard Garden

It’s spring harvest time at the Ethel A. Jacobsen Elementary School garden in Surf City. Last week Joanne Kinsey, Family and Community Health Sciences educator at the Cooperative Extension of Ocean and Atlantic Counties, Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, joined the school’s first-graders and teachers Sarah Esarey and Kelly Turner to harvest garlic scapes – for eating and for learning… After experiencing the outdoor classroom firsthand, Kinsey remarked, "The kids were fantastic and really enjoyed working in the garden and tasting the garlic scape pasta. I totally enjoyed the entire experience, the pasta was delicious, and I hope to be invited back again."

Read the entire article at The Sandpaper »

Lindley G. Cook 4-H Camp Holds Annual Spring Family Weekend

Fun on the lake.

Fishing on Lake Shawanni.

The Lindley G. Cook 4-H Camp held its Spring Family Weekend on May 20-22, giving summer campers (and their parents who wish they could be summer campers) an opportunity to spend a weekend together having fun. “One of the goals of this weekend is to provide the opportunity for brand new families to get introduced to what we do here at 4-H Camp,” said Ben Clawson, program director of the camp. “Many of our new families who attend the weekend have younger children, so it’s a great way to start a child on camp.” It’s a taste of summer camp for the whole family: campers get to live in the cabins, enjoy summer programs run by the summer staff, eat some great meals and most of all spend some quality time relaxing around the lake at the 4-H facility in Stokes State Forest.

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Rutgers 4-H and Environmental Resources Collaborate to Create Active Learners

Tamara Pellien, 4-H Agent with Ocean County, demonstrates a watershed model activity for educators as part of the Water Engineers Program Photo credit: Steve Yergeau.

Tamara Pellien, 4-H Agent with Ocean County, demonstrates a watershed model activity for educators as part of the Water Engineers Program Photo credit: Steve Yergeau.

Educating students in the STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) has become a focus of schools across the country.  This is mainly due to the need for a well-prepared future workforce, as the growth of STEM-related jobs from 2000 – 2010 rose at a rate three times faster than non-STEM-related employment.  Many educators conduct instruction targeted in the STEM areas to fulfill this need, but through the use of the same conventional model in education: lecture, memorize, and test.  For years, educators have discussed and attempted to address STEM in the context of real-world, applied science.  In trying to implement a hands-on approach to learning, educators continue to face challenges: a lack of learning opportunities and limited funds to allow for project-based learning.  These factors hinder the ability of educators and youth to put their new understanding of STEM to effective use.  Ocean County’s 4-H and environmental resource agents are collaborating to meet the challenges of teaching students the STEM disciplines in new and innovative ways.  This partnership has resulted in the creation of two programs: the Water Engineers Program and Growing with Vertical Gardens Program. [Read more…]

John and Anne Gerwig Directors Fund Presents First Awards

Gerwig 1

Larry S. Katz, director, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, with Anne and John Gerwig.

The first John and Anne Gerwig Director’s Fund awards for Rutgers Cooperative Extension were given out on May 4, 2016 at an event at the Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health that celebrated the Gerwigs and their tireless devotion to extension and underserved populations in New Jersey. The Gerwigs were presented with the commemorative book, “Rutgers, A 250th Anniversary Portrait” by current RCE director, Larry S. Katz, and after some thoughtful and moving remarks by Mr. Gerwig, certificates were presented to Nicholas Polanin and his team for programing designed to empower women in agriculture, and to Michelle Brill and Jeannette Rey-Keywood for a professional development series to create programming for the developmentally disabled.

Gerwig 2

John Gerwig.

John and Anne Gerwig are the embodiment of Rutgers Cooperative Extension (RCE). John joined 4-H when he was 5, became the extension agronomist early in his career, and is the longest serving director (1962-1992) in its history. Anne led the university’s Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program reaching limited resource families and was instrumental in obtaining critical employee benefits for paraprofessionals in extension.

John and Anne Gerwig wanted to help all of Rutgers Cooperative Extension. This devotion and desire led them to establish a fund that will provide resources to extension professionals in perpetuity. The goal of their $200,000 is to empower cooperative extension professionals so that they can make a bigger impact on New Jersey’s communities. A portion of the fund will be reserved to award through a formal “request for proposal” process set up and managed by the RCE director’s office. Remaining funds will be used to support emerging issues, internships, awarding additional proposals, and other needs that arise.

[Read more…]

World’s richest source of oceanographic data now operational at Rutgers

The data center for the pioneering Ocean Observatories Initiative, which collects and shares data from more than 800 sophisticated instruments and a transmission network across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, is now operating at Rutgers University… The OOI cyberinfrastructure team is led by Manish Parashar, distinguished professor of computer science and founding director of the Rutgers Discovery Informatics Institute (RDI2), in collaboration with Scott Glenn and Oscar Schofield, distinguished professors of marine and coastal sciences and directors of the Rutgers University Center for Ocean "Our OOI partners have deployed advanced platforms and a wide variety of sensors in challenging environments at sea," Glenn said. "Enabling unprecedented access to scientists and educators through an equally advanced cyberinfrastructure is our goal. We are excited that Rutgers is part of the team."

Read the entire article at Phys.org »

Expressive Arts 4-H Showcase at Rutgers Day

Members of the 4-H Clover Ensemble Club (Somerset County). Photo: Courtesy of Expressive Arts 4-H.

Members of the 4-H Clover Ensemble Club (Somerset County). Photo: Courtesy of Expressive Arts 4-H.

Ten 4-H members representing three counties (Camden, Passaic and Somerset) took part in the Expressive Arts 4-H Imagination in Action Showcase at Voorhees Mall on the College Avenue Campus during Rutgers Day on April 30.

Hands-on visual arts activities and performances by 4-H members, ranging in ages from 9-15, provided an enjoyable day for Rutgers alumni, family and friends. The Somerset County 4-H Clover Ensemble club, under the direction of 4-H volunteer leaders Patti Verbanas, Ellen Parker and Julia Meier, provided entertainment during the day. [Read more…]