Central Coast youth developing engineering and technology skills
Youth working to construct a rocket
What Has ANR Done?Partnering with the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University, Central Coast youth are working with the University of California Cooperative Extension 4-H Youth Development Program in Santa Cruz and Monterey counties to develop engineering and technology skills. After-school programs in Watsonville and Monterey have been engaging youth in building bionic arms, solar powered cars, water filtration systems and solar ovens through the TechXcite program and exposing youth to the planning and conceptual design of engineering. They are learning to use technology to apply their learning to real-world situations. Through participation in the TechXcite program, after-school staff have created science-rich environments at their sites by providing opportunities for youth to tinker and create small-scale solutions to large, long-term issues society is grappling with.
Youth prefer learning that is hands-on and engagingDuring the course of 17 months, over 150 youth have participated in the TechXcite program at seven traditionally undeserved sites in Santa Cruz and Monterey counties. Impact data, collected via youth surveys, indicate that 80 percent of the participants “definitely feel science, engineering and technology help make our lives healthier, easier and more comfortable.” Additionally, 60 percent of youth indicate that they “definitely would rather do experiments to learn about how or why something happens than to read about it,” while another 80 percent of youth say they “definitely would like to do more activities like TechXcite." The responses show that the non-formal inquiry-based approach that 4-H uses to deliver science education programs make learning science enjoyable to youth.
Clientele TestimonialTechnology was new, crazy and fun - A youth participant
Supporting Unit:Santa Cruz and Monterey counties
Lynn Schmitt-McQuitty, (831) 763-8026, firstname.lastname@example.org