Google donates $1.5 million and virtual reality technology to support 4-H youth science programs
August 11, 2017
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Google representatives and Gov. Bruce Rauner met today at the Illinois State Fair to announce the company’s donation of $1.5 million in funding support and virtual reality equipment to support 4-H youth science programs across the U.S., including Illinois.
Youth in Illinois’ 4-H programs will use the donated virtual reality kits and Google Chromebooks for three-dimensional learning experiences set in locations all over the world. Illinois 4-H will use the funding from Google to purchase drones and cameras to create additional virtual reality experiences for the program, including a new farm expedition.
The announcement was made at the Illinois 4-H State Fair General Project Show, which draws 4,000 youth participants and 20,000 4-H friends and family.
Jacobs said, “We are honored that Google has chosen 4-H to be its major partner for computer science education. Nationally, 4-H is the largest out-of-school programming organization, so this is what we do.
“The VR will allow the kids to take expeditions to different places around the globe. Imagine being able to travel through the Great Barrier Reef, and having your teacher point out specific details. You can look up, down left right and the teachers can point out what they need to.”
STEM education – science, technology, engineering and math – is a fast growing program area for Illinois 4-H, with youth completing more than 7,500 robotics projects in 2016.
One of those participants was Russell Moore III, who spoke at the announcement crediting Illinois 4-H with helping him find his career path. “4-H saw my potential in STEM, and created a safe space for me to grow those skills,” said Moore, who will be attending college on a full scholarship to Lincoln Land Community College. “Because of 4-H, I’ve started my journey towards my dream career in the field of computer science.”
Jacobs says the 4-H focus on STEM education is an important area for career preparedness. “We’re teaching our youth now so that when technology changes come, they’re ready to adapt and work in those fields.”
Illinois 4-H Director Lisa Diaz said, “4-H is all about getting kids ready for life, and STEM is a big part of that because of the increasing number of STEM jobs in Illinois and across the country. Ninety-six percent of 4-H members say they like science and want to learn more about it. Undertaking a challenging STEM project, such as building a robot, lets them learn how to think through their options, test them and keep improving their designs.”
About University of Illinois Extension 4-H
Working in every county in Illinois, 4-H impacts the lives of 200,000 youth each year through sustained learning. Illinois 4-H empowers and prepares all Illinois youth for success by providing opportunities where they learn, practice and demonstrate skills needed for home, career and global citizenship. University of Illinois Extension is the flagship outreach effort of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and is based in the College of ACES.
- Abriendo Caminos Health Educator Program Takes On Childhood Obesity
- Gov. Rauner announces release of additional $5 million to Extension
- Juntos “Together” 4-H Program Inspires Latino Teens to Pursue their Education Dreams
- Bipartisan coalition secures release of $10 million to University of Illinois Extension
- Million-meal milestone ensures families have food to eat
- Farmland donated to benefit Clinton County Extension
- As Spring Nears, ‘Tis the Season for Horticulture Education
- When trauma touches the classroom: U of I Extension workshops train teachers to offer hope
- Looking for anaplasmosis in beef cattle
- Illinois organizations partner with Extension to combat malnutrition in seniors
- Extension’s Tony Franklin awarded 2017 Larine Y. Cowan Make a Difference Award on Leadership in Diversity
- Piece by piece, 4-H members stitch together hope for children battling cancer
- STARTUP Jefferson County provides entrepreneurs and small business owners the tools to succeed
- In the face of disaster, Extension Disaster Education Network provides enduring support
- Peoria “stormwater farm” demonstrates power of connecting design thinking with improved public health outcomes
- Incoming freshmen: Apply now for the Extension to ACES Scholarship!
- As the Refuge Food Forest bears fruit, a community's fascination blossoms
- Think globally, act locally: Woodchip bioreactors help farmers reduce nutrient runoff
- BRANDT 4-H race car wins Xfinity maiden race
- Champaign-Urbana collects 13,000 pounds of unwanted medicine
- Data-Driven Dairy
- Illinois biennial report recognizes positive, voluntary steps to reduce nutrient loss
- Persistence pays off: Orr Center celebrates 40 years of progress, partnership
- Gardening with your senses
- Extension wins award at Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior 2017 annual conference
- 4-H has your seat to the eclipse
- 4-H Bridge Bust Participants Earn More than Awards
- Macon County Master Naturalist Gives Back
- U of I Students Share Ideas to Improve Peoria’s Southside Neighborhood
- Two University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener Pollinator Projects Receive Grants
- Healthy Carnival Planned by Teens to Promote Nutrition and Activity
- Illinois Master Gardener program celebrates 40th anniversary
- Illinois State Board of Education Awards $4.5 million to U of I Extension for school food-service training
- Rockford third graders 'Farming in the Class'
- Extension experts talk turkey
- 4-H Teens as Teachers have positive impact
- Pond management workshop promotes stewardship, sound practices
- An edible forest takes root in Normal