On Oct. 18, 122 fourth-grade students and future 4-H members at Judith D. Steele Elementary School in Las Vegas took part in 4-H National Youth Science Day. This year’s challenge, Game Changers, took the students through three sessions devoted to computer science. First, students learned what a public service announcement was before creating their own using Scratch, a programming language that is easy for youth to use. Second, students designed their own game board, Hack Your Harvest, to learn the basics of computer coding. Lastly, students created an active tag game, Program Your Playground, by using the concepts or conditionals, pattern recognition, etc. Students ended their sessions with smiles and some 4-H buttons, pencils and stickers. Many students called the day “the best day ever” and look forward to the upcoming year, during which they will be working on a coding and robotics project.
The 2019 National Youth Science Day challenge was designed by Google and West Virginia University Extension Service to teach youth ages 8-14 how to use computer science to create games, solve problems and engage with topics they’re passionate about. This year’s experiment used physical activity and puzzles to teach kids important computer science concepts and problem-solving skills, creating real-world connections between computer science and civic engagement, healthy living and agriculture.