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Hands-On Science Programs Teach Important Life Skills

The Issue

Strong science skills and processes are essential for everyday living, academic success, and job performance. Yet, nearly half of all California 8th graders test below grade level in science abilities. 4-H has long been recognized as a national leader in non-formal, out-of-school science activities. Many classroom teachers believe these same quality inquiry-based experiences belong in the classroom as well. The Hands-On Science Program was developed to meet this need.

What Has ANR Done?

Brief updates and easy-to-use curriculum are shared through the monthly Hands-on Science Newsletter. Teacher workshops are also held annually, training classroom teachers in the science processes and inquiry approaches for delivering the hands-on curriculum. Science-based curriculum shared with classroom teachers include Earth Connections, 4-H Embryology...An Eggciting Adventure, Worms Recycle For Us, Water-Wise Guys, Primary Planters, PlacerGROWN Ag-tivities, and Bread & Little Hands. In-service and continuing education certificates are given to attending teachers. Teachers are also encouraged to participate in other extension sponsored educational activities.

The Payoff

Local Teachers Use Hands-On Science Activities

A total of 42,000 newsletters were distributed to elementary school teachers in Placer and Nevada Counties the past three years. Eight workshops were conducted for elementary school teachers. A total of 17,832 youth were group enrolled through these efforts. Classroom teachers report that students benefit from the hands-on/minds-on approach. They are more engaged in the learning and are more apt to extend their learning on a particular topic because of the experiential focus of the materials.


Supporting Unit: Placer-Nevada Counties

Sharon K. Junge, County Director
11477 E Ave
Auburn, CA 95603