This post is part of a special series written by students celebrating 4-H’s commitment to science.
My name is Grace Baldwin. I am a high school junior and nine-year 4-H member. 4-H has been a huge part of my life ever since I was very young. Last summer, I had an amazing opportunity to go to Ghana, Africa with my family. While visiting I met a civil engineer who was funded by a grant to work with the local people to teach them about water sanitation. It was then that I became interested in water sanitation and civil engineering.
I wanted to find activities that would help me learn about this career, so my 4-H leader suggested taking 4-H science-related projects. The thought had never crossed my mind that 4-H projects could be engineering related. However, 4-H offers a wide variety of science projects that one could take such as: soil and water conservation, electric, computers, aerospace, aquatic science, health, geology, weather, and more. This past year, I chose a soil and water conservation project in which I made a poster that compared multiple soil densities for a variety of soil types. I educated the public on why this is important.
One of the best things about 4-H in the state of Indiana is the relationship with Purdue University. 4-H’ers can attend 4-H Round-Up and Science Workshops at Purdue in the actual science labs and classrooms. These camps are so beneficial! Exposure to the college labs, professors and classrooms helped me realize how many 4-H projects correspond with majors at Purdue. In my first year of Science Workshops, I learned about Veterinary Medicine by watching a horse run on a treadmill! Last summer, I learned about engineering by visiting various departments at Purdue and observing the engineering expertise.
While these programs are designed for 4-H’ers, I met one girl from Michigan, not even in 4-H, that attended just because of the good reputation of the program. Overall, 4-H has been a vital part of my life and I believe the 4-H projects and programs enable youth of today to conquer life’s biggest problems.