4-H Club from McLean County, IL Uses HughesNet Grant to Create New STEM "Technology in a Box" Program

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4-Her's are creating resources to give schools and local groups in their county fun, educational resources to explore STEM.

4-H’ers in McLean County, Illinois, are putting their HughesNet-funded Youth in Action grant to work by  creating computer science and robotics kits for hands-on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) learning. Their objective? Give schools and local groups across the county resources for youth to explore STEM topics through fun, hands-on educational activities.

Designed for students aged 7 through 18, the kits are stocked with combinations of VEX Robotics and Raspberry Pi Starter computer sets, supporting equipment, and different age-appropriate curricula. The kits, maintained by 4-H volunteers, can be checked out through the McLean 4-H office. Starting in September, teachers and 4-H leaders can simply select the ready-to-go kits, lead their students through the various levels of included program options and return the kits when completed. McLean County is making it that easy to bring STEM to youth across Illinois who otherwise may not have access to the technology.

The McLean County 4-H extension received the $5,000 grant to build the kits when one of its members, Thad Hughes of Shirley, won the 2016 Youth in Action Award for STEM from the National 4-H Council in April. He is spending his summer as an engineering intern at Hughes’ corporate headquarters in Germantown, MD. You can read more about Thad here.

4-H Youth in Action Awards honor four 4-H’ers and their respective counties who helped grow these true leaders.  These 4-Hers have gained critical life skills through their 4-H experience, epitomize 4-H youth empowerment and leadership, and have made a positive impact on their families, peers and communities. Stay tuned for more to come this exciting program!

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