4-H youth complete the Water Windmill Challenge | TSLN.com

4-H youth complete the Water Windmill Challenge

Teens from across the state worked together to design, construct, and build a structure to hold up to three gallons of water. Courtesy photo

Lincoln, NE (June 11, 2015) – A group of 68 teens from around the state participating in Nebraska 4-H's Big Red Academic Summer Camp recently participated in the Water Windmill Challenge where they used only everyday materials to construct a model windmill that simulates how wind-powered electricity can deliver clean, safe water to crops and farm animals. This teen-led activity is part of the 4-H Ag Innovators Experience, a program presented by the National 4-H Council and Monsanto, and is designed to make agriscience relevant and fun for youth.

The Water Windmill Challenge was developed by the Ohio State University to help youth learn about water in the U.S. and around the world, explore the water footprint of common food products, and make the connection between water use, environmental sustainability and food security. It tasks participants to work in teams to engineer a water windmill structure that supports three gallons of water using buckets, craft sticks, scissors and dowel rods.

"It's amazing to see how their minds work, putting their critical thinking, creativity, and past experiences into action," says Toni Rasmussen, the intern assisting with this project.

The 4-H Ag Innovators Experience presents an annual activity that encourages participants to apply critical thinking and STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) skills to address a real world agriculture challenge. The program is a collaboration between the National 4-H Council and Monsanto to help develop critical workforce skills in young people. In 2015, the 4-H Ag Innovators Experience is available to more than 10,000 youth across Nebraska and seven other states: Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin. For more information, contact Heather Borck, 4-H Youth Development, at hborck2@unl.edu.

–UNL-West Central Research and Extension Center

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