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4-H clover Minnesota 4-H Engineering Design Challenge 2024 theme announced

“Extreme events, like flooding, drought and heatwaves, will likely become more frequent and more intense with climate change.” - University of Minnesota Climate Adaptation Partnership

4-H youth participating in the 2023 4-H Engineering Design Challenge. 

For the 2024 Engineering Design Challenge, we want youth to think about how we can use engineering to prepare and protect against extreme weather events resulting from the changing climate.  

The two-step task for this year’s challenge will be to:

  1. Provide a warning of an extreme weather event that is about to occur, and
  2. Demonstrate an action to help protect against damages from that extreme event.

What is the Engineering Design Challenge?

Teams of youth work with volunteer coaches to create a Rube Goldberg™ type machine that completes a two-step task designed to solve an issue. A Rube Goldberg™ machine is an overly complex contraption that does a simple task and uses everyday items in a fun or amusing way. The machine uses a series of chain-reaction steps that culminate in accomplishing a task.  

By participating in the 4-H Engineering Design Challenge, young people develop creativity, collaboration, communication and critical thinking skills. Youth use an engineering design process to solve problems by identifying and researching them, then making and implementing a plan to design a solution.  

In both level 1 and level 2 of the challenge, youth use physics, engineering and storytelling to create a Rube Goldberg™ type machine. 

Where can I find more information?

Visit the 4-H Engineering Design Challenge webpage to learn more about the challenge. The 2024 handbook is there, as well as a video about last year’s challenge.  

Additional resources will be added in the coming months.

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