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Arkansas youths mark National with science and service projects

September 26, 2014

Fast Facts:

  • October is National 4-H Month
  • 4-Hers in Arkansas will mark the day with Month of Service; science project

(475 words)

LITTLE ROCK -- The more than 130,000 Arkansas youth who have made the 4-H youth development program part of their lives this year will join six million of their counterparts nationwide in celebrating October as National 4-H Month.

“For many, the experiences in 4-H -- whether part of a camp or after school program or a year-round project -- last a lifetime,” said Noah Washburn, 4-H youth development program director for the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service.

“Through 4-H, we reach young people with educational programs, events, and activities that focus on active involvement and quality experiences that stimulate lifelong learning of values and skills,” he said.

 4-H is the only youth development program affiliated with the University of Arkansas. We reach youth in urban neighborhoods, rural farming communities, schools, military installations, and suburban communities in every county in the state.

This year, 4-Hers will mark National 4-H Month with two statewide projects, one being the Month of Service and the other, the national science project, “Rockets to the Rescue.”

Commitment to service

During last year’s One Day of Service, 45 groups from 34 counties took part including more than 2,300 youth. More than 238 4-H volunteer leaders and 259 adults not affiliated with 4-H were part of the effort.

All told, volunteers put in more than 3,200 hours of work into One Day of Service and they:

  • Collected nearly 1.5 tons of food
  • Assembled 2,119 care packets, valued at more than $42,000
  • Cleaned 18 miles of road
  • Gathered 1,480 pounds of trash.

“The Month of Service is an expansion of the 4-H Day of Service that started in 2012,” Washburn said. “Our 4-Hers showed so much enthusiasm that we wanted to give them the whole month to demonstrate their commitment to community service.

Taking off with science

Rockets to the Rescue is a national 4-H science project, said Angie Freel, 4-H science and curriculum coordinator.

“This year’s project combines science and service,” she said. “In light of recent natural disasters such as Typhoon Haiyan, National 4-H Council is asking youth to design and build an aerodynamic food transportation device that can deliver a payload of food to disaster victims.”

Freel said youth from at least 45 counties will be building and launching their Rockets to the Rescue all month long.

Lockheed Martin in Camden, the Ouachita County Cooperative Extension office and Fairview/Camden school district are working in partnership for an event in Ouachita County to conduct the experiment. Lockheed Martin, an aerospace and defense company, is a national sponsor of the event. 

Fair time

October is Arkansas State Fair time and for many 4-Hers this is the culmination of longer-term projects such as growing giant pumpkins or watermelons or bringing along a prize steer or lamb to show at the fair. Each of these projects instills responsibility and skills youth can use in the future.

For more information about 4-H contact your county extension office or visit

The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

By Mary Hightower
For the Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division of Agriculture

Media Contact: Mary Hightower
Dir. of Communication Services
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
(501) 671-2126

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