Style EngineersThis summer, 4-H youth in Kentucky will have the opportunity to be ‘style engineers’ through a $10,000 sponsorship award from the National 4-H Council and HughesNet® to implement a “Tech Takeover.” Through day camps, overnight camps and special workshops, youth will complete Style Engineers curriculum activities ranging from material exploration to pattern drafting and design to using battery operated circuitry for wearable items. The Tech Takeover is part of a national effort to spark youth interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Marjorie Baker, Extension Associate for Clothing and Textiles and lead investigator for the grant, is excited to have this opportunity for youth in Kentucky. Baker shared, “Our project is one of four funded from more than 60 proposals submitted. It is a unique opportunity to connect youth to the science, engineering and math concepts involved in clothing design and construction.”

In total, more the 300 Kentucky youth will complete units in the Style Engineers curriculum. The curriculum was developed by Cornell University and the University of Minnesota, with funding through the National Science Foundation. The goal of the curriculum is to engage youth in hands-on, real-world activities designed to emphasize science, engineering and math.

The Kentucky 4-H Fashion Leadership Board has been working with the curriculum since its release in fall 2015. Sarah Drysdale, a 4-H member from Carlisle County and chair of the state Fashion Leadership Board shared, “The Style Engineers Curriculum is something that I find very interesting for youth members of all ages. The lessons that are provided are very interactive. The activities are not only fashion related but have science and mathematics emphases.”

National 4-H and HughesNet® are dedicated to sparking an interest in STEM topics early through hands-on, community-based learning. In additional to Tech Takeover, the partnership supports science events at local fairs and National Youth Science Day.

Author: Kim Henken
Contact: Marjorie Baker, 859-257-7772
Terms: FCS