CLEMSON — Youth around the state are gearing up for the 2018 South Carolina 4-H Engineering Challenge.

Students compete in the robotics competition at the 2015 4-H Engineering Challenge.

The LEGO Robotics Challenge is one of several challenges students can during the 2018 4-H Engineering Challenge.
Image Credit: Clemson University Public Service and Agriculture

The Engineering Challenge is part of the 4-H Science on the Move initiative, a partnership between South Carolina 4-H and the S.C. Coalition for Mathematics and Science. It gives students ages 9 to 19 an opportunity to show off their skills while competing for individual and team honors in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) challenges.

Sponsored by EnlightenSC, the Challenge is slated for Saturday, April 14, at the Midlands Technical College Airport Campus, 1260 Lexington Drive, West Columbia. The cost is $5 to $15, depending on the challenge. The deadline to register is March 23. To register, go to http://bit.ly/4-H_EngineeringChallenge.

Ashley Burns, assistant director of Clemson’s 4-H Youth Development program, said the 4-H Engineering Challenge is a great way to show youth just how fun STEAM-related concepts and careers can be.

“Youth who participate in this event can alter their futures,” Burns said. “We focus on building confidence, developing competence and exposing youth to a variety of STEM-related concepts and careers through this fun-filled event. Not only does the Engineering Challenge test their skills, it provides youth a safe platform to gain new skills and seek new opportunities.”

The 2018 Engineering Challenges include: Building a Bridge Challenge, EnlightenSC’s Energy House Challenge, GPS Challenge, EnlightenSC’s Solar Oven Showcase Challenge, LEGO Robotics Challenge, Rocketry Challenge and EnlightenSC’s Power of Photography Challenge. A Mystery Challenge also is included but no information is available.

“It’s a mystery,” said Burns, adding it is important individuals and teams register for challenges by the March 23 deadline.

“A limited number of teams will be accepted for each challenge,” Burns said. “Lunches and T-shirts are included with each registration.”

This is a family-oriented event, said Burns, adding additional lunches and T-shirts can be purchased with each team or individual registration.

“We welcome parents, grandparents, siblings and other family members to come and discover the joys of science, technology, engineering and math in an interactive environment,” Burns said.

There also will be a STEAM Fair at the same location.

“The STEAM Fair is a non-competitive platform of exhibits that highlights a wide array of career opportunities and engages youth in hands-on activities to spark interest and build confidence,” Burns said. “Youth also build teamwork and cooperation skills by working with others through these challenges. Regardless of their interest, 4-H is a place where youth can plug in and pursue mastery in a skill and discover something new about themselves.”

For more information about the 2018 SC 4-H Engineering Challenge, contact Katie Burch at korishe@clemson.edu.

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4-H Science on the Move
4-H Science on the Move is a statewide initiative from South Carolina’s Coalition for Mathematics and Science and South Carolina 4-H. The initiative works with schools, afterschool programs, county 4-H clubs and other youth organizations to provide education resources that are designed to increase students’ interest in and exposure to STEM- Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Collaborating with local, statewide and national education efforts, 4-H Science on the Move helps maximize community efforts to help students become the prepared workforce that South Carolina needs to interest new businesses and encourage economic growth.