Lighting a Fire: 4-H programs spark New York youth to pursue STEM careers and higher education

This past fall, 4-H was featured on the cover of the College of Human Ecology's magazine! Here is an excerpt from the article. To read the full article, visit the link below.

Linking Research and Real Life

In New York, 4-H reaches 170,000 youth across 62 counties. The state organization is anchored at Human Ecology’s Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research, where researchers partner with 4-H community educators to develop programs, test new ideas in youth development, and measure outcomes.

Together, BCTR faculty and 4-H leaders are studying the best ways to recruit and retain youth and offering professional development opportunities to 4-H educators, including conferences where faculty share the latest youth development research to educators and Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) county leaders.

“BCTR is a natural place for 4-H,” says Elaine Wethington, Bronfenbrenner Center acting director. “Part of the process of translating research is to have faculty interact with practitioners on the ground to co-develop new projects. Connecting with 4-H and its programs provides opportunities to benefi t many more New York youth by allowing our researchers to learn from 4-H and also helping 4-H to improve its programs.”

Andy Turner, New York state 4-H program leader, agrees the partnership is a two-way street that benefi ts 4-H and the College of Human Ecology.

“There are strong similarities between the positive youth development framework that is guiding 4-H and the work of Urie Bronfenbrenner’s ecological model of human development,” he says. “Bringing 4-H into the BCTR allows us to look for ways to integrate youth development practice with emerging research and evidenced-based practice. It’s clear that 4-H is a major player in the extension and outreach mission of the college”

- To read the whole article, visit: http://www.bctr.cornell.edu/tag/4-h/#sthash.M7Jze1bX.dpuf