Virginia 4-H is partnering with Google to bring computer science and modern technology to 4-H'ers across the state, giving Virginia youth more access to technology education, the latest equipment, and the opportunity to apply computer science to their fields of interest.
“We’re very excited about the partnership between 4-H, America’s largest youth development organization, and Google, one of the most influential companies in technology. This grant will allow us to reach a new audience and to engage our youth with the latest technology to expand their existing project work,” said Jeremy Johnson, the Virginia state 4-H leader.
Virginia 4-H plans to implement the Google technology on statewide and local levels, expanding STEM educational offerings. Twenty Google virtual reality (VR) kits will be used at special events to engage youth with a new kind of learning. The equipment will be used at many state events, including the Virginia Tech Science Festival on Nov. 4.
Google’s VR technology will also help 4-H on the local level to recruit new members. Children and parents will be able to meet with 4-H representatives remotely and in real time through the magic of VR goggles.
Virginia 4-H has also received 30 Chromebooks, which will be utilized in many ways across the state. In Alleghany County, students at Clifton Middle School will apply the technology to history projects. Sixth graders will learn how to use Google Slides to complete history presentations. Seventh-graders will use the Chromebooks to create a 4-H Academic History Quiz Bowl based on their History SOLs. Both of these projects will allow students to improve their computer skills.
Virginia is one of 22 states benefiting from this $1.5 million grant from Google. The program will reach more than 100,000 4-Hers across the country, allowing youth to implement technology to improve their communities.
This collaboration between 4-H and Google lays the groundwork for 4-H to deliver computer science education across the organization, which reaches nearly 6 million kids in every county and parish in the United States. It also establishes an official 4-H Computer Science Career Pathway, which will enable kids to progress from a casual interest in computer science to dedicated study, ultimately helping to equip them with career experience.
4‑H grows confident young people who are empowered for life today and prepared for the careers of tomorrow. The research-backed 4‑H experience nurtures young people who are four times more likely to contribute to their communities; two times more likely to make healthier choices; two times more likely to be civically active; and two times more likely to participate in STEM programs.
Google.org works to extend the reach of nonprofit innovators and connect them with a unique blend of support that includes funding, tools, and volunteers from around Google. These innovators are the believers-turned-doers who have made the biggest impact on the communities they represent, and whose work has the potential to produce meaningful change that can scale. To date, Google.org has given more than $110 million to help close learning gaps around the world. This grant builds on that legacy by providing computer science to students who have traditionally lacked access.
Computer science will be important in every field Virginia 4-H'ers may wish to pursue, from agricultural science to fashion to engineering. This program allows 4-H to prepare them for the future today.
—Written by Caroline Sutphin