The sixth grade students in Mrs. Baures’ science class at Cochrane-Fountain City engaged in the 2020 4‑H STEM Challenge, formerly known as 4‑H National Youth Science Day, on October 14. The 4-H STEM Challenge is an annual initiative to inspire kids everywhere to take an interest in science, technology, engineering and math through hands-on learning.
Students had a mission to create block codes to animate a Mars planet scene. Sixth graders used algorithms and logic in a software called Scratch to have characters converse, add sound and make costume changes. During the challenge, 6th graders practiced using a problem-solving process that most computer scientists use to develop programs and systems called Computational Thinking.
The 4-H STEM Challenge was facilitated virtually by Annie Lisowski, Buffalo County 4-H Youth Development Educator and Professor of Youth Development at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension. It is a program developed by Google and Virginia Cooperative Extension called Mars Base Camp and is a collection of activities that teaches kids ages 8-14 STEM skills like mechanical engineering, physics, computer science, and agriculture.