GARY | Students at Thea Bowman Leadership Academy joined millions of young people across the nation to become scientists for the day during the sixth annual 4-H National Youth Science Day.
This annual event seeks to spark an early interest in science and future careers, and to reclaim the nation's position of leadership in scientific exploration. As part of 4-H NYSD, youth participated in 4-H Maps & Apps: the 2013 National Science Experiment.
Designed by Colorado State University Extension Service, this year's experiment demonstrates that by utilizing geographic information systems (GIS) and global positioning systems (GPS), youth can have a positive impact on their communities.
At Thea Bowman, students applied basic GIS principles and became geospatial thinkers as they designed and mapped their ideal park and used GIS mapping to solve community problems.
Special guests included Gary City Planner Dwayne Williams and Gary GIS Manager Martin Brown.
Students were encouraged to join the Thea Bowman Eagles 4-H Club, which meets weekly at the school and enables members to explore a variety of science topics along with more than six million 4-H members across the nation.
“Our nation is falling behind other countries in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math," said Julie Jones, 4-H Youth Development educator. "However, participation in high-quality positive youth development programs like 4-H NYSD offers youth and adults the opportunity to engage in scientific exploration and work together to build the next generation of our nation's scientists, engineers and mathematicians."
To combat a national shortage of youth pursuing science majors and occupations, and to enhance the nation's contribution to the sciences, 4-H National Youth Science Day demonstrates that science, engineering, math and technology are fun and attainable options for college degrees and careers.
To join the conversation on GIS and GPS, follow National 4-H Council (@4H) on Twitter or Facebook at www.facebook.com/4-H and use the hashtag #4HNYSD.