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4-H learns about the 'Power of the Wind'

The Issue

Sustainable and renewable energy is a hot topic in many circles, and the California 4-H Youth Development Program is joining the movement. A source of energy is considered renewable if it is a natural resource and can be naturally replenished in a relatively short time. Producing electricity from renewable sources will not result in harmful pollutants or emissions and will not harm ecosystems. Renewable energy can be produced using sources like the wind, sunlight, hydrogen, geothermal energy (heat from inside the earth), biomass (energy from plants), flowing rivers, and even the power of the ocean. Renewable energy is also called "clean" or "green" power.

What Has ANR Done?

The California 4-H program is taking a proactive approach to increasing science, engineering and technology opportunities by participating in the national 4-H SET (Science, Engineering, Technology) program.

UC 4-H advisors volunteered to help develop and test a training script for the new SET "Power of the Wind" curriculum. The pilot testing workshop was conducted June 11-12, 2009, at the University of Riverside Highlander Hall. Participants included 4-H staff and volunteers from San Bernardino, Riverside, Los Angeles and Orange counties. As part of the training, workshop participants constructed and tested a hand-held wind-powered device designed to solve a specific problem and meet balance constraints. They were guided by trainers in making adjustments and retesting the device. The UC participants helped finalize the training script.

The Payoff

The Power of the Wind Project takes off!

UC 4-H advisors and volunteers' participation in the pilot testing of this new national curriculum will benefit 4-H youth throughout California. Each county that participated in the testing received a kit of The Power of the Wind resources and a free set of The Power of the Wind curriculum, valued at more than $300. Additional resources will be used to incorporate the Power of the Wind curriculum in 10 California counties; they are already underway in Orange and Riverside counties. The youth involved learn how to make wind machines and attach tiny motors and a monitoring device to understand how much electricity is generated by wind, even on a very small scale.

The Power of the Wind is just one SET curriculum used in California to engage youth with hands-on opportunities to increase their knowledge, skills and abilities.

Clientele Testimonial

"This training was so fun! I was surprised at how quickly the time flew by - all because we were playing with pinwheels! I had a great time!" - Jeffery, San Bernardino County


Supporting Unit: 4-H Youth Development Program

Cynthia Barnett, (909) 387-2193, ccbarnett@ucdavis.edu