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University of Minnesota Extension

4-H clover Youth development program report: Spring 2022

4-H youth turn learning into action

A graphic that highlights the following: Spark - Youth choose projects based on their interests.; Learn by doing - Youth practice experiential learning - do, reflect, apply.; Developmental relationships - Youth and adults collaborate to accomplish goals.

In Minnesota 4-H, youth have the opportunity to learn about a huge variety of topics– and in the process, discover their sparks. They then take that knowledge and put it to use to make change in their communities– and beyond.

Throughout the year, more than 26,000 youth engage in established club and afterschool programming. To compliment our ongoing programming, 4-H'ers are invited to participate in additional activities at the local, regional and state levels. This spring, more than 8,600 of those 4-H’ers took advantage of an additional 383 programs offered across the state. These included anything from project kits and knowledge contests to photography and service projects.

In 4-H, learning has no bounds

A group of youth in a circle playing a clapping game.

Building the next generation of leaders

The Building Leadership and Understanding (BLU) conference teaches youth valuable leadership skills that can be applied within their communities and gives them the opportunity to make connections with people from other parts of the state.

At this year’s BLU conference, there were over 230 attendees, 77% of whom were first-time participants. Events like BLU are helping build the next generation of leaders!

BLU helped me to identify my passions and think about how I can pursue a future career involving what I care about. - BLU participant


Giving youth the opportunity to showcase learned knowledge

A group of youth in a line of desks listening to two adults sitting opposite them at a table.

Project Bowls are one of our largest Minnesota 4-H events and they are fantastic opportunities for youth to deepen their animal science knowledge. These events also serve as a way for youth to explore potential career pathways, like agriculture and animal science.

This year, there were over 1,160 youth that participated in regional and state Project Bowls.

“Project Bowls encourage youth to strengthen both their knowledge and communication skills.” - Project Bowl volunteer

Spring 2022 programming at a glance

Three green stat bubbles that state: 26,000+ members enrolled, 8,679 Spring program participants and 363 spring programs

Creating career pathways in STEM fields

In the 4-H Engineering Explorers: Engineering Energy program, youth in grades 3-6 participated in weekly engineering challenges and learned by creating, testing and evaluating simple machines.

The program, which had over 50 participants, was designed to build inquiry and engineering design thinking, all while exposing youth to STEM fields.

Based on evaluation data, 89% of respondents reported having a greater understanding of engineering following the program, and 68% of the respondents would like to study engineering after high school.


Encouraging youth - from Minnesota and beyond - to pursue their sparks

High-quality 4-H programs provide youth a place to belong, matter and explore their personal sparks. 

For the participants of the Hit Me With Your Best Shot Photography Contest, youth showcased their learned skills and understanding in photography. The contest had over 100 participants, and was open not only to Minnesota 4-H’ers, but also those in surrounding states.

“It was a good opportunity to practice my photography skills.” - Contest participant

A close up of a dog's eyes with snow in its fur.
A boy wearing tan overalls walking on a pile of branches in an open pasture.
A black and white photo of a cat peeking from behind a wooden door.
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