Youth Development Program – S.T.E.A.M.
Science, Technology, Engineering, Agriculture and Mathematics
According to the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, to solve the world’s grand challenges, it is essential to increase and diversify the talent pipeline across S.T.E.A.M. (science, technology, engineering, agriculture, and mathematics) disciplines. Youth must be engaged in culturally relevant, innovative, and meaningful learning experiences. Culturally relevant pedagogy uses students’ cultural experiences and backgrounds to develop real-world connections to increase engagement with instruction and learning (Hanover, 2021). In order to achieve positive outcomes in career exploration it’s important for students to envision their future (Nurmi, 1991). Creating a narrative helps youth imagine their future careers, linking their present selves to the possibilities of their future or who they would aspire to be (Gee et al., 2020).
4-H Youth Development engages youth in innovative and creative programming opportunities that will enable students to find their spark and passion in various areas. Career development and exploration equips youth with access to unique, hands-on opportunities to explore and imagine the wealth of careers available to them. Savickas (2012) suggests that prioritizing youth involvement in S.T.E.A.M. career exploration could increase youth interest, motivation, and self-efficacy to pursue degrees in fields such as agricultural and biological engineering, entomology, family and consumer sciences, food science, and veterinary medicine. Find your spark today in 4-H!