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Wired: An Introduction To The 4 H Electric Series

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.1164.1 - 6.1164.7

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Paper Authors

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Jeffrey Schiano

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Claudia Mincemoyer

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2432

Wired: An Introduction to the 4-H Electric Series

Jeffrey L. Schiano and Claudia C. Mincemoyer Department of Electrical Engineering/Agricultural and Extension Education The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802


The Penn State Cooperative Extension Service (4-H) and the Department of Electrical Engineering are developing an electrical science and technology program that will be available to Pennsylvania 4-H youths, ranging in age from 8 to 19 years old, through local 4-H clubs and 4-H programs in local public schools. The specific aims of the program are to: 1) develop a series of hands-on activities that introduce youths to basic concepts of electrical science and technology, 2) foster a natural curiosity regarding electrical science and technology in youths, motivating their study of science and math, and 3) develop important life skills. A key component of the program is the generation of an Internet resource that provides a repository of low cost projects with detailed assembly instructions and background material, information on careers in electrical science and technology, and links to other relevant Internet resources. We present an overview of the program by describing some of the projects and discussing the logistics of recruiting and assisting adult leaders.


Despite the significant impact of electrical science and technology during the last century, very few people have an understanding of basic electrical concepts. This observation even holds for many students entering the electrical engineering program at Penn State University. We are addressing two challenges that lie in the way of introducing youths to electrical science and technology. The first challenge is to find an effective vehicle for delivering the program to as many youths as possible. The second challenge is to develop a program that will capture and hold a youth’s attention long enough to spark an interest in the material.

The Delivery Vehicle

The 4-H system implements science-based programs using the non-formal educational delivery system, Cooperative Extension, which is an effective and widely replicable alternative to teacher-led science-based educational experiences 1,2. Cooperative Extension (CE) Educators, also known as

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Schiano, J., & Mincemoyer, C. (2001, June), Wired: An Introduction To The 4 H Electric Series Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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