4-H Virtual STEM Club

stem pathway logo
STEM project materials for students

The 4-H Virtual STEM Club is an online 4-H club for 8 -13 year old youth that meets monthly beginning in January 2022.  Each month 4-H STEM Guy, Claes Thelemarck and UNH Sky Guy, John Gianforte will lead an online activity for kids and families.  Participants might learn about building paper rockets or learn about meteor showers that can be seen at night.  Maybe build a hydraulic claw that can pick things up, or even learn about taking pictures of the stars.  The possibilities are endless.  These meetings are also available to 4-H volunteers who might wish to add STEM projects to their 4-H club experience.

Meeting times:  5:00pm – 6:00pm on the 4th Thursday of the Month beginning January 27.

Meeting Format:  Each monthly meeting will be held via Zoom video conference and feature an activity with background information.  Activities will require participants to either gather simple materials from home or purchase kits online (Typically around $10/kit).  The program descriptions below will have materials information.  Participants will also be encouraged to share observations, photos and ask questions via SeeSaw class software.

If the cost of kits is a barrier for families, please contact Claes Thelemarck to inquire about assistance purchasing kits.

4-H Volunteer Opportunity

The 4-H Virtual STEM Club gives interested 4-H volunteers a monthly activity that you can bring to your 4-H club as a follow up to our monthly online meeting.  Volunteers should connect with their local 4-H program manager to learn about other STEM pathway experiences for their youth. 

4-H Virtual STEM Club Monthly Schedule:

Thursday, January 27, 2022
Discovering the Night Sky for Yourself

Participants will learn some basic skills that will help familiarize themselves with the nighttime sky. We will cover orienting to north, south, east, and west, how the sky changes during the night, the week, the month, and over the entire year, build an astronomer's flashlight and keep an astronomer's journal.

Materials: Participants should purchase the February 2022 issue of Astronomy magazine from a local bookstore or large supermarket, or a Wal-Mart and red cellophane.

February 24, 2022
Building a Robotic Claw

Robots can aid explorers in many ways including using an arm or claw to grab, hold and manipulate objects.  This session will focus on building a simple hydraulic claw found in the 4-H Galactic Quest kit. 

Materials: Participants should purchase the 4-H Galactic Quest kit ($19.95) or the Hydraulic Claw kit ($9.95) here.

March 24, 2022
Getting to know our Star, the Sun

Participants will learn how to make simple observations of the Sun, to observe how the Sun slowly changes its position in the sky from day to day and how these seemingly small changes result in short days and long nights in the winter and long days and short nights in the summer. We will also delve into the reason why we experience seasons.

April 28, 2022
Dabbling in Astrophotography
Join us to learn how to take your own photographs of stars and other celestial objects.  Participants will learn the basics of astrophotography using only a cell phone camera, or digital camera if you have.

May 26, 2022
Stomp Rockets

Rockets are the main way we launch, satellites, exploration vessels and astronauts into space.  They all have certain characteristics that help them fly straight to break through our atmosphere.  Using simple paper rockets we will explore the aerodynamics of rockets and have fun stomping the launchers to send them into the sky.

Materials: Copy Paper, Tape, Scissors.  Download plans for a Stomp Rocket Launcher.

June 23, 2022
Exploring the Universe of the Very Small
Participants will turn their focus downward to the microscopic level to explore the world by examining the environment that surrounds them close up, something few people ever see.  Using simple Fold-Scope kits, participants will explore familiar things Like drops of pond water, plants in a new way. It will be a great way for young scientists to start the summer.

Materials:  Participants should purchase a Foldscope ($9.99) online

Register for STEM of the Month Club


Extension Field Specialist - Science Literacy
Extension Field Specialist, 4-H Science Education
Phone: (603) 447-3834
Office: Cooperative Extension, Taylor Hall, Durham, NH 03824

Director, UNH Observatory, Extension Associate Professor/Space Science Education/Youth & Family State Specialist
Associate State Specialist Professor, Space Science Ed
Phone: (603) 862-2829
Office: UNH Cooperative Extension, Demeritt Hall, 227, Durham, NH 03824