Blugold Beginnings to partner with area schools to celebrate National Youth Science Day

| Judy Berthiaume

UW-Eau Claire’s Blugold Beginnings will partner Eau Claire County 4-H to bring 4-H National Youth Science Day science programming to eight Eau Claire area elementary schools in October.

More than 60 Blugold Beginnings mentors and older 4-H youth will facilitate science projects after school on Oct. 4 with more than 250 youth from Flynn, Lakeshore, Manz, Northwoods, Putnam Heights, Roosevelt, Sam Davey and Sherman elementary schools.

Blugold Beginnings is working to collaborate with educational leaders, community partners, and business and industry to address the skills gap in STEM fields, says Jodi Thesing-Ritter, executive director for diversity and inclusion at UW-Eau Claire. National Youth Science Day is just one example of those intentional partnerships to help inspire kids to engage in STEM learning, she says.

“I am thrilled that this year we are able to grow the National Youth Science Day project to serve even more schools,” Thesing-Ritter says. “It is our hope that we can share the project in all of the schools in the Chippewa Valley one day.”

The theme for the Oct. 4 science challenge is “Incredible Wearables.”

The participating youth will use the engineering design process to build a prototype wearable technology that will gather data to help solve a real-world problem. Industries around the globe, from education and sport, to health, fashion, entertainment, transportation and communication, now use wearable technologies.

Blugold Beginnings also will bring the “Incredible Wearables” project to the Fail Safe Lab at the Children’s Museum of Eau Claire from 10 a.m.-noon on Saturday, Oct. 7. The Blugold Beginnings Robotics program also will teach kids how to build and program robots from 2-4 p.m. Oct. 7 in the Fail Safe Lab.

These projects are part of UW-Eau Claire Blugold Beginnings' ongoing efforts to close the opportunity gap in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) by making hands-on learning projects accessible to youth in the Eau Claire region.

Northwestern Bank and the Eau Claire Sport Warehouse are providing funding for science challenge programs.

The Eau Claire youth will be among the hundreds of thousands of youth across the nation taking part in the 4-H National Youth Science Day, the world’s largest youth-led science challenge.

The science day event is part of National 4-H Week, which takes place during the first full week of October every year.

Photo caption: Blugold Beginnings mentor Montrell Oliver assists Sherman elementary students as they take on the 2016 National Youth Science Day challenge.