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By Daniel Curtin
Hometown Weekly Reporter
Young members of the community came out to the Norfolk Agricultural High School to apply their science skills making model cars as part of the Massachusetts 4-H program last Thursday. 4-H is a youth development program out of the University of Massachusetts that works with kids on different projects that interest them, from animal husbandry to robotics.
The hands-on learning experience had local youngsters using supplies to build either a battery-powered car or a gravity car.Kim Pond, a science, engineering, and technology Liaison for Massachusetts 4-H, led the workshop. When Pond was growing up, she also took part in the 4-H program.
“I became a science teacher and I wanted to give back to 4-H,” said Pond. “So one of the ways I have done it is come back and try to share my passion and interest of science. Especially to get more girls in underserved [communities] and urban areas exposed to not only what 4-H is, but some of the science fields.”
Many of the kids at the program are part of a local 4-H club, Citizens of the Future. The event had the youthful group working together but also learning about different scienctific principles, like how friction would impact their cars’ speed.
“We saw it in the paper and thought it would be something fun for the boys to do. They both like building things,” said Sandi Cedero, who brought her two boys to attend the program. “It’s important for them to learn something other than being on video games all day.”
“In the world we live in, we need a lot of scientists, and sometimes people can be a little fearful of science, thinking: ‘Can I really do this?’ We try to take away that fear by giving them fun, hands on kinds of activities that are gonna make them feel a little more comfortable about science,” said 4-H educator for Norfolk and Bristol County Jay Field. “Eventually, hopefully, some of these 4-Hers may consider science as a career.”