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4-H members learn S.T.E.M. by hands-on learning!

Submitted by Tandra-Lee Drew
Lanark 4-H - STEM Club
(Posted March 11, 2018)

This was a unique project done by 4-H, and enjoyed by all. This project was called S.T.E.M which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. We are all looking forward to learning different science experiments and what their outcomes will be.

During our first meeting we did our usual elections where we elected our President, Vice-President, Secretary and reporter! Then we moved onto more hands-on exciting things such as each member attempted to make a paper airplane that could cover as much ground as possible without touching the ground! Fun was had by all.

We were given “homework” to do an experiment with eggs! This was a fun experiment we got to do at home. Myself, I enjoyed observing the progress over the few days that my eggs were soaking in different solutions that we got to pick (oil, milk with food colouring and vinegar were the ones I choose!).

Our second meeting was held at Victoria’s house, where we were handed some papers and had to read some paragraphs (not the most fun but we knew it would lead to something great!). We made four “science cakes”, in which each one was different. They varied a lot by one was made normal, another cake was made without eggs, another without oil and lastly the fourth cake was made without baking powder. While the “cakes” were cooking we judged a class of whisks; a fork, a whisk, a spatula, and a potato masher. The cakes smelled yummy as they cooked; when they were done cooking we observed and tasted them. We wrote down our observations of the cakes. Though, for snack we had chocolate chip-oatmeal cookies!!

During our next exciting meeting we talked about animal stomachs. Pig stomachs are very similar to human stomachs. We did an experiment on how the stomach works. We put a piece of white bread in a bag with our partners. Meagan and I put oil in our bag and pressed the bread slightly and the bread ended up breaking. This was neat seeing how each piece of bread reacted. Of course, after learning about stomachs we had to put something yummy into ours; which just happened to be vanilla-maple and chocolate-maple cupcakes.

This next meeting was held outside at the Gardening Clubs garden, where we picked some tomatoes, and planted some garlic for the summer. Since it was close to Halloween our snack was Halloween themed sugar cookies.

At our fifth meeting we touched on plant sciences, then we did two experiments. Our first experiment of the meeting was taking a pie tin and pushing a thumbtack through the bottom in the middle. We then put an unsharpened pencil’s eraser onto the sharp part of the thumbtack that was sticking through the pie tin; next we took some wool yarn and rubbed it on the back of a styrofoam plate. We then put the pie tin onto the upturned plate and it was supposed to make a static shock-like lightening but it was unsuccessful. Our second experiment we made clouds in a jar. We took a large mason jar, poured in hot water, put two or three squirts of hairspray, put the lid on and then we put a chunk of ice on the lid. This experiment was successful! The jars were getting so cloudy that you couldn’t see anything on the other side! For both experimenters we wrote down our observations.

For our last official meeting before our science fair, we had the Cloverbuds (these are the younger 4-H’ers under the age of nine years old), join us for our meeting. We helped them construct bridges, which we then tested with four heavy books and a tiny toy lion car that sang! This was fun to see all the different bridges and how they each differed in their strengths and abilities. The Cloverbuds seem to enjoy the evening!

YIPEE! Our science fair has arrived! We set up our experiments that we conducted over the last few weeks, to share our observations and our final findings. Parents, families and friends came to see what we all did! We also had a special visitor as well named Dianne Pinder-Moss from AgriNews! She went around speaking to all our 4-H members about our projects and we were all eager and happy to speak to her. Some of the projects that some of the members did were: Meagan made crystals, Juniper did a project on viscosity, I did an experiment on my dog and there were also experiments on fruit, electricity and computers! Everyone did an excellent job!! Way to go everyone! After we showed off our experiments, we got to have snacks of fruits, chips, cookies, juice and much more!

Even though this project has been completed, I am sure we will all take what we learned from this project and the fun memories we had with us throughout our life! On behalf of the S.T.E.M. 4-H members I would like to thanks Melissa and Victoria for putting up with all of us and teaching us such awesome experiments!














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