After a series of weather-related delays, the seven-member crew of Endeavour along with a flag bearing the green 4-H clover has finally blasted off from the Kennedy Space Center.
“Including the 4-H flag on this mission reflects the commitment 4-H has to building young leaders in science, engineering and technology,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “As the global economy expands, these leaders will strengthen the United States’ global competitiveness and leadership in these fields.”
Nearly 7 million youth, ages 5–19, participate in 4-H youth development experiences in all 50 states, territories and military installations worldwide.
The four H’s on the flag stand for head, heart, hands and health.
Azeem Ahmed, a 4-H member from Alabama, asked NASA to take the 4-H flag into space. Ahmed is an avid space enthusiast and President of the Alabama 4-H Council.
According to a two-year study in New York, young people who participate in 4-H clubs do better in school, are more motivated to help others, and develop skills in leadership, public speaking, self-esteem, communication, planning, and making lasting friendships.
National 4-H Headquarters, along with its private partner National 4-H Council, has set the goal of preparing one million new young people to excel in science, engineering and technology (SET) by 2013. The 4-H program is part of the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service.