4-H Clubs provide an opportunity for young people to explore Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics in a fun and practical context. STEM projects challenge students to make the critical connection between everyday problems and solutions that can be provided by research, science and innovation.
4-H Data Clubs
Accessibility of good and reliable data in a timely manner is increasingly becoming crucial in driving action for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda. The demands imposed by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development on country systems are greater than those of previous development frameworks. This era requires a greater amount of data in increasingly higher quality and consistency far surpassing the capacity of the national statistics system. 4-H is responding to the need to rapidly increase the human resource pool for data scientists and data journalists required for Kenya to adequately track progress against the indicators for the SDGs by getting young people between the ages of 6 and 30 engaged through data clubs.
The connection between the agricultural sector and food systems, the environment, and sustainable water management in urban areas is not adequately amplified in the public domain. Data can play a significant role in amplifying the impact of human actions and calling for action in pursuit of Agenda 2030. 4-H clubs play a critical role in the transfer of knowledge and skills from experts to communities, using the angst and energy of children and the youth as a catalyst for change. The Enterprise Gardens provide a platform for youth ages 6 to 30 to shape new futures for themselves and their families by equipping them with knowledge and tangible skills in data science, Earth Observation information, and Geospatial technologies. Data clubs provide an opportunity for young people to engage in research, advocacy and journalism by providing research problems and protocols across four main themes: Sustainable Agriculture & Food Security, Natural Resource and Ecosystem management, prevention and management of Water-related Disasters, and Climate Change.
4-H data clubs integrate data science within the pre-existing 4-H club model by combining 4-H toolkits with protocols provided by NASA’s Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) Program. 4-H Data clubs attract a caliber of students who may not ordinarily be drawn to Enterprise Garden activities but have an acumen for STEM, as well as providing an opportunity for those who have already participated in enterprise garden activities to explore interest in research and science activities. For instance, they are able to make the connection between data, soil science, and water quality, and their relation to food production and the growth of sustainable cities.
The RCMRD National Space Challenge
RCMRD/SERVIR E&SA, 4-H Kenya, GLOBE and TAHMO introduced an activity dubbed “RCMRD Space Challenge”. The National Space Challenge introduces teachers and students to Geographic Information Systems (GIS), land mapping and Weather Science problems, encouraging them to think critically about policy decisions and their impacts.
SERVIR is a joint initiative of USAID and NASA to help developing countries improve environmental management and resilience to climate change by strengthening the capacity of governments and other key stakeholders to integrate Earth Observation information and geospatial technologies into development decision-making. SERVIR emphasizes the use of earth observations, environmental monitoring, and visualization tools to fill key information gaps in developing countries. 4-H Kenya partners with RCMRD to link young people to mapping resources available at RCMRD and including participation in the annual Space Challenge.
For the last two years, 4-H clubs have participated in the RCMRD National Space Challenge, with Kitololoni Primary School 4-H Club winning 1st Prize in 2018. The 2018 Space Challenge sought to sought to equip teachers and students in primary and secondary schools with skills in the mapping of land cover changes and ability to make linkages with weather variables.
Kitololoni Primary School 4-H Club receives the 1st Prize during the 2018 National Space Challenge.