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KAHOKA, MO—The first week of 2021 kicked off a new 4-H SPIN Club for youth interested in Robotics. A SPIN Club is a short-term 4-H membership that is centered around one topic- in this case Robotics. 4-H SPIN Clubs typically meet 5-7 times over a 2 to 3 month period, complete a community service project and hold a culminating event.
4-H Volunteers Dana Bush and Ardith Harmon headed up the venture with twelve excited 4 H members and one youth leader exploring junk drawer robotics and then moving on to building and coding Lego EV-3s. “I am so proud of these kids,” says Club Leader Dana Bush. “They come each week willing to listen, work hard and problem solve. I am also very thankful that their parents have been to willing to help out. We have been able to cover all of the lessons in the unit plus a few extras because their willingness to help us out during this time.” Assistant Club Leader Ardith Harmon shared that, “volunteering for the Robotics SPIN Club was definitely outside of my expertise and comfort zone, but collaborating with Dana Bush was great and Clark County 4-H members have really benefited from the experience.”
For their community service, Robotics SPIN Club members collected items to create a STEM kit to make a water clock and purchased a book called The Warlords’s Alarm that goes along with the kit. This STEM kit was donated to Running Fox Elementary. Club members were excited to share a STEM activity with other youth in the county. “Each week, the kids tackle a new problem and find a solution through brainstorming, trial and error, and using previously gained knowledge. I leave every meeting so impressed by their hard work and focus,” says Ardith Harmon.
Members were able to have this experience with the Lego EV-3 Mindstorms thanks to an investment from regional Extension funds which purchased and created 2 Robotics Kits specifically to support being able to offer Robotics through the SPIN Club delivery mode in the Northeast Region. Each kit contains 4 EV-3 Mindstorms and 4 tablets. The Clark County 4-H Council also recently purchased their own EV-3 Mindstorm to be used to support youth with an interest in robotics and coding.
4-H is a youth development program offered through University of Missouri Extension for youth ages 5-18. For more information or to register contact the Clark County Extension Office at (660)727-3339. University of Missouri Extension provides equal opportunity to all participants in extension programs and activities.