Charlie Hutchison of Lexington, Massachusetts, Director of Active Science Learning, Inc. and Principal Investigator for the National Partnership for After-School Science project funded by the National Science Foundation’s Informal Science Education Program, was recently recognized by the New Jersey Association of 4-H Agents with the 4-H Educator of the Year Award for his significant contributions to the 4-H program.
This award, which is presented annually, recognizes an individual or a group for outstanding professional educational support of the 4-H Youth Development Program of Rutgers Cooperative Extension.
Charlie Hutchison, co-author of the NSF-funded Design It! (engineering) and Explore It! (science) afterschool curriculum series was instrumental in introducing New Jersey 4-H to these curricula. During multi-day intensive training institutes, Mr. Hutchison taught 17 Design It and Explore It projects to a network of Out of School Time (OST) Science Trainers who provided a total of 144 two to three-hour workshops to afterschool program staff from 2009 to 2012. The curricula has been used by 4-H educators in afterschool, club, teen, camp, and school programming throughout the state and was used at the Rutgers 4-H Summer Science Program in 2013.
Due to the strong foundation New Jersey 4-H received from Charlie’s exemplary teaching from 2008-2012, New Jersey 4-H is currently entering its second year of partnering with NJSACC to provide professional development to afterschool providers throughout the state. 4-H provided Design It workshops, curricula, material kits, and support to 15 afterschool sites from Atlantic City, Piscataway, South Brunswick, and Trenton through a fee-based program during the 2012-2013 school year. In 2013-2014, seven afterschool organizations were enrolled for the training and 30 staff were trained to provide youth programming in over 20 afterschool sites.
It is clear that Charlie Hutchison’s effective teaching and professional development efforts have had a significant impact on New Jersey 4-H Program and that the foundational science and engineering facilitation skills he developed in 4-H staff and volunteers continue to impact partnering afterschool providers and 4-H Science programs.
For more information about the New Jersey 4-H Program visit the website at http://nj4h.rutgers.edu. Like New Jersey 4-H on Facebook.