Maricopa County 4-H organizers are bringing Robotics and STEM – or, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math – camps to the children of men and women serving in the U.S. military.
About 50 youth participated in two half-day week-long camps that were held at the Luke Air Force Base Youth Center, earlier this year.
While November marks 'Military Family month', Maricopa County 4-H Youth Development Area Associate Agent Kim Christman says camps at Luke Air Force base and for other military youth are great ways to pay them back for the protection their parents provide U.S. citizens.
“Our partnerships with military bases across the state are connecting military youth with 4-H in a variety of ways through STEM, Citizenship, and Healthy Living hands-on learning activities. We are thrilled to connect Arizona 4-H Staff military youth,” Christman said.
During the 4-H Spring Break Camp, students learned about the density of objects and how density impacts their daily lives which was led by Rabia Jama, previous Maricopa County 4-H AmeriCorps. During the Summer Camp, participants learned Robotic Basics, where they learned what a robot is, how to build one using a LEGO robotics kit, and how to program a robot to interact with its environment.
Tim Lonchar, a Maricopa County AmeriCorps member who is leading 4-H STEM Special Interest 4-H Clubs, says he enjoyed working with students learning about robotics.
“The kids were very eager to learn about robots, and even more excited to build them using LEGOs,” Lonchar said.
The next camp on the base involving military families will be this spring, and Maricopa County 4-H Staff will be training Luke Air Force Base Youth Center Staff on the use of 4-H curriculum.
Christman, who serves herself as a member of the Air National Guard hopes to grow the Arizona Military 4-H Program.
“Arizona 4-H is working to develop an even stronger network with our active, guard, and reserve units across the state in order to provide quality research-based educational programs to military youth,” Christman said.
4-H works with U.S. Army, Air Force, and Marine personnel to support youth and family programs on military installations in Arizona. Specifically, Arizona 4-H supports military personnel at Davis-Monthan AFB, Luke AFB, Ft. Huachuca Army Post, and Yuma Proving Grounds.
To learn more about the program or other Arizona 4-H Programs, contact us the Arizona 4-H website at: https://extension.arizona.edu/4h/contact-us.