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4-H clover A Guide to 4-H Projects

Now that you’ve enrolled in 4-H you are ready to begin working on your projects – but wait! What is a 4-H project? How do should you pick projects? What do you need to do to complete a project?

What is a 4-H project?

A 4-H Project is a way for you to find out what you are good at through a hands-on learning experience. You sign up for project areas that interest you when you enroll in 4-H. Then you think of what you want to learn and come up with a project that will help you meet your goals.

What projects can I choose from?

  • Cloverbuds – an exploratory, non-competitive program for youth in K-2nd grade
  • Animal Science - Beef, Cat, Dairy, Goat, Dog, Horse, Lama, Pets, Poultry, Rabbits, Sheep, Swine, Veterinary Science, Exploring Animals
  • Expressive & Communication Arts - Crafts & Fine Arts, Performing Arts, Photography, Video, Demonstrations
  • Family Consumer Science - Child & Family Development, Clothing & Textiles, Food & Nutrition, Food Review
  • Mechanical Science - Aerospace, Bicycle, Computer, Electric, Robotics, Wood Shop or Metal Shop, Small Engines, Tractor, Aquatics Robotics, Engineering Design, Rube Goldberg Machines
  • Natural Resources - Entomology, Exploring the Environment, Fishing Sports, Forest Resources, Geology, Shooting Sports/Wildlife Management, Water/Wetlands, Wildlife/Biology
  • Personal Growth & Development - Citizenship, Consumer Education, Global Connections, Health, Safety, Youth Leadership
  • Plant Sciences - Crop Sciences, Flower Gardening, Fruit, Indoor Gardening, Lawn & Landscape Design, Plant & Soil Science, Potatoes, Vegetable Gardening
  • Create Your Own Project - Self-Determined

How do I select a project?

You should select 4-H projects based on your interests and hobbies. If you enjoy painting, Crafts & Fine Arts would be a good project for you. If you like being outside, any of the plant science projects may be good fits for you.

Where can I get ideas for projects?

The Extension Office has a ton of great project resources for you to use. There are handouts that give an overview on certain project areas and may help you come up with ideas. Another thing you can use is 4-H Project Curriculum. These bulletins have instructions for hands-on activities you can do yourself at your own pace. The Extension Office has many of these available for a minimal charge, with some being free.

Chisago County 4-H is on Pinterest! We pin ideas and resources for projects – be sure to follow us!

What steps should I follow for success in my projects?

  1. Select project areas that interest you.

  2. Make sure you are signed up in FairEntry for your projects by mid-June, if you want to exhibit in that project area at the county fair. If you have questions or can’t remember what you signed up for, log on to 4-H Online – you can select or drop projects once you’ve logged in.

  3. Come up with a project that will help you reach your learning goals. (For example, if you signed up for Child Development and you set the goal of learning how to keep children safe when you baby-sit, you might come up with a babysitting kit that could include a first aid kit and a home safety checklist.)

  4. Use 4-H Project Curriculum to help you come up with project ideas and learning goals. 4-H Project Curriculum are “workbooks” that kids can do independently or with an adult mentor. They allow youth to go at their own pace and achieve hands-on learning independently. Curriculum can be checked out from the Chisago County Extension Office or purchased online

  5. Begin work in your 4-H project area. Be sure to keep notes when you work on projects, including when you learned things and what you learned, what didn’t go as planned, when you shared your project with someone else, etc. . . Later on these notes can be transferred on to your 4-H Records.

  6. Attend any project workshops that may be held in the project areas that you signed up for. Watch the website, newsletter and emails sent out from the Extension Office for more information – it always includes details of upcoming 4-H activities that are being offered to 4-H members.

  7. If you want to exhibit your project at the County Fair in July, you will need to register your projects with the Extension Office by mid-June. You will receive a registration form and more specific instructions as date gets closer.

  8. Remember that you should be completing projects as a way to reach the learning goals you have set for yourself – not just making something to bring to the fair.

  9. Complete your 4-H Records and turn them in to your club leader by October 1. Be sure to follow the guidelines that you receive with your records.(Information on 4-H Records will be coming in winter of 2020)

  10. Call the Extension Office for help if you get confused, stuck, or run out of ideas!

Good luck as you "learn by doing" your 4-H projects!

Chisago County 4-H
38814 3rd Avenue
North Branch, MN 55056
Phone: 651-277-0150
Email: jeremyf@umn.edu

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