For the second year in a row, Utah State University Extension 4-H will continue to implement “Making the Future” programs for youth in Utah through a $25,000 grant from Cognizant, a global leader in business and technology services.
In prepration, a group of USU Extension 4-Hers and advisors were invited to attend the Bay Area Maker Faire on May 18-19 in San Mateo, Calif., where they explored and completed hands-on activities in areas ranging from arts and crafts to engineering. They will bring the ideas and principles they learned at the Maker Faire back to Utah to implement in the “Making the Future” programs in the state.
Students who attended the faire include Elissa Clark of Morgan, Kylee Ann Breeding of Plain City, Reece Lane Elmer of Richfield, Exley and Wednesday Hackwell of Enoch, and Jory Peppelaar of Glenwood. They were accompanied by advisors Craig Dart, Dave Francis and Angela Hackwell.
“Making the Future” is an educational initiative created to unleash the passion of young people in science, technology, engineering and math by creating fun, hands-on learning opportunities. The program was first introduced in Utah last year as one of only 10 pilot programs in the country. According to Dave Francis, USU Extension 4-H youth development specialist, the program compliments 4-H principles very well.
“4-H has a long history of getting kids engaged in new ideas and we recognize that today’s inspiration is tomorrow’s innovation,” said Francis. “The idea of inspiring kids to learn through doing and to make things is a long-time practice of 4-H.”
The grant from Cognizant is intended to help young people develop 21st century skills including creativity, innovation and collaboration. Cognizant supports the idea that “Making the Future” will create a brighter future for children and prepare them to be tomorrow’s leaders in a global economy. The program will be expanded from two pilot programs to five around the state and will be included in Iron, Utah, Washington and Wayne counties, as well as a statewide camp held at USU Eastern.
“Cognizant’s ‘Making the Future’ program will assist Utah 4-H in delivering on USU’s mission of public service through learning, discovery and engagement,” Francis said.
The program is part of a larger “maker movement” that is taking place in the country that emphasizes the making and doing aspects of life; thus, bringing back the creative skills that often get lost with large-scale production and manufacturing.