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4-H robotics offer young people new STEM experiences

Kentucky 4-H recognizes a strong background in science, technology, engineering and mathematics can benefit young people, not only as they progress through school but as they enter the job market. In 4-H, our educators work to help youth develop an understanding of a variety of STEM-related disciplines.

4-H robotics is a popular STEM offering. Robotics projects can range from junk drawer robots, which teach young people basic robotic construction using everyday items, to robots so large they are powered by motorcycle batteries. The most common form used by Kentucky 4-Hers is the Lego Mindstorm EV3 robotics kit, which is powered by AA batteries. A new offering for some 4-H programs are Pro-Bots.

Pro-Bots are battery-operated robots shaped like automobiles. They give young people an introduction into Lego programming. In this type of technology, young people program the robot to draw a certain configuration. This teaches them to plan, design and execute routes. In the process, young people learn coding. They can easily see an immediate outcome from the codes they enter into the Pro-Bots.

Pro-Bots also come equipped with sound, light and touch sensors that young people can program to react in various ways.

For more information on local 4-H robotics or STEM opportunities, contact the Woodford County Extension office. Woodford County 4-H offers Lego Robotics opportunities starting in January of 2018. For more information, please email Ryan Farley at ryan.farley@uky.edu.

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