“Maps & Apps” during 4-H Week

Left to right, standing: Zachary Nelson, Tryce Slykhuis, Noah Wormstadt, Shania Cornelius, Dayton Easton and Katie Morgan; kneeling: Brighten Hitchcock and Leighton Tarbox.

Oct. 6-12 was National 4-H Week across the nation. Locally, Audra Scheel, the 4-H Youth Program Advisor, visited the fourth grade in Sanborn Central Elementary bringing with her the National 4-H Science Experiment “Maps & Apps.”
Audra met twice with Ms. Evensen’s class sharing with them the concepts of GIS – geographic information systems, GPS (global positioning system), and how we can view our world and document what we observe in exciting and complex ways.
In the first classroom visit students familiarized themselves with features that are often included on a map, such as points, lines and polygons. The project included making a GIS map of a new park for their community. Each student was assigned a layer on the map, composed of eight layers in total.
“We are used to visualizing things as two or three dimensional so getting kids to think like a bird and the relationship of their size on a map was challenging,” stated Scheel. “Each youth contributed to a

Left to right, standing: Carolyn Huff, Logan Swearingen, Elliana Kisor, Dana Schelske, Destiny Moe and Jasmine White; kneeling: Mason Moody.

layer with things like waterfalls, pools, horse riding arenas, walking trails, vegetation and playground equipment.”
Then as the layers were placed on top of each other the students were able to see how items related in size and the placement of their park components.
The second classroom visit had students working with x and y coordinates related to trash picked up in a section of town. The students had to create data points on a grid map of town and decide where they should put trash receptacles. The youth were also given a budget for buying the trash receptacles.
“The students did an excellent job of communicating what they wanted to see done. This exposed them to a real world experience, and the possibilities out there for careers with technology and maps,” said Scheel.
SDSU Extension recently added a 4-H Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) Field Specialist to their line up of personnel in the state, Christine Wood, who is located in Sioux Falls Regional Center.
Scheel added, “I will be working with Wood to bring more STEM-related activities to our 4-H programs in the district. This is just another facet of what 4-H can offer our youth.”
If you are interested in joining 4-H contact the local Extension office (605)796-4380 for more information or Audra Scheel directly at audra.scheel@sdstate.edu.

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