Science & Technology

USU Extension 4-H Receives Grant to Expand 'Making the Future' Program

"Making the Future" is an educational initiative created to unleash the passion of young people in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education by creating fun, hands-on learning opportunities.

For the fourth year in a row, Utah State University Extension 4-H will continue to implement “Making the Future” programs for youth in Utah through a $25,000 grant from Cognizant, a global leader in business and technology services. The grant will support Maker efforts at 54 sites across the United States, including Washington and Millard counties in Utah.

Making the Future” is an educational initiative created to unleash the passion of young people in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education by creating fun, hands-on learning opportunities. The program was first introduced in Utah in 2012 as one of only 10 pilot programs in the country. According to Dave Francis, USU Extension 4-H youth development specialist, the program complements 4-H principles very well.

“4-H has a long history of getting kids engaged in new ideas, and we recognize that today’s inspiration is tomorrow’s innovation,” said Francis. “The idea of inspiring kids to learn through doing and to make things is a long-time practice of 4-H.”

The grant from Cognizant is intended to help young people develop 21st century skills, including creativity, innovation and collaboration. Cognizant supports the idea that “Making the Future” will create a brighter future for children and prepare them to be tomorrow’s leaders in a global economy. The program is part of the “maker movement” taking place in the country that emphasizes the making and doing aspects of life; thus, bringing back the creative skills that often get lost with large-scale production and manufacturing.

“Cognizant’s ‘Making the Future’ program will assist Utah 4-H in delivering the USU mission of public service through learning, discovery and engagement,” Francis said. “We are happy that Millard County will be involved this year for the first time and Washington County will build on its previous success with Maker programs. Youth have tremendous opportunities for experiential learning with additional equipment, including a 3-D printer in the Maker Space at the USU Extension Office in Washington County.”

Cache County was awarded funds in 2014 and continues to benefit from the Cognizant grant. The Cache 4-H Makers Club is one of the largest programs in the state, serving nearly 60 youth in 2014, with 80 on a waiting list. It is anticipated the Cache club will be able to accommodate 300 youth in 2015 after moving into a larger space.

Related links:

Utah 4-H

Utah State University Extension

Contact: Dave Francis, 435-760-4109, dave.francis@usu.edu

Writer: Julene Reese, 435-797-0810, julene.reese@usu.edu

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