Youth Across Iowa Experience 2017 Solar Eclipse through 4-H Camps



students viewing the eclipseAMES, Iowa – Iowa State University Extension and Outreach offered over 75 solar eclipse day camps across Iowa. The Iowa 4-H Youth Development program, county extension offices, and partner organizations came together to provide high quality science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education opportunities to youth for the 2017 solar eclipse.

On Aug. 21 nearly 2,000 young Iowans were able to experience a near-total solar eclipse at a local 4-H day camp, a rare opportunity to experience an interesting and scientifically significant event.  

The youth participants took part in a wide variety of educational activities related to solar eclipses, such as learning how eclipses work and making pinhole viewers for safe eclipse viewing. Technology was also used to feature special speakers highlighting STEM career opportunities.  

This program was made possible thanks to a partnership between the Iowa 4-H Youth Development program and the Iowa Space Grant Consortium.

“We are excited to have had the opportunity to offer this program state-wide. The participants were enthusiastic about these educational activities,” said Cayla Taylor, ISU Extension and Outreach 4-H educational opportunities manager. “This was a great opportunity to encourage young people in to explore the world around them, and get excited about potential future opportunities in STEM fields.”    

To learn more about county 4-H, contact a county ISU Extension and Outreach office, or visit the 4-H website, www.extension.iastate.edu/4h. For information on 4-H aerospace projects and events, visit the project page at www.extension.iastate.edu/4h/projects/aerospace.