Walton EMC is a longtime supporter of 4-H, an organization that provides experiences where young people learn by doing. The cooperative supports 4-H in the counties we serve through Operation Round Up donations and corporate sponsorships.
Supporting 4-H is one way we demonstrate the cooperative principle of caring for the community. But, recently, we’ve had another reason to get behind this club: It could be a source of future employees and leaders for Walton EMC.
If you know 4-H from your youth, you might think of it as an organization that caters to the interests of those who live on farms. Today’s 4-H has broader appeal. Here in Georgia, one of the key 4-H project areas is STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).
Now hiring: STEM-educated employees
From preschool on, schools are incorporating more STEM in their curriculum. There’s good reason: Most jobs of the future will be tied to this area of education in some way or another.
Walton EMC needs STEM-educated employees to keep electricity reliably flowing to our growing number of customer-owners. Through retirement and attrition, we lose many valuable employees each year. We’re looking to the next generation to fill many positions that require skills in STEM areas.
Through STEM projects, Georgia 4-Hers are developing knowledge and skills that prepare them for college or to directly enter the workforce. 4-H STEM programs use hands-on, engaging projects that are grounded in research and science-based knowledge, explains Kasey Bozeman, who oversees Georgia’s 4-H STEM program. There are activities in robotics, computer science, math, engineering, technology and science to teach problem solving, creative and critical thinking, and build excitement for engineering and technology.
Activities for preK – grade 12
If you have a student in grades 4-12 who has an interest in STEM, take a look at the Georgia 4-H website to learn about activities such as local robotics clubs and the FIRST LEGO League.
Be sure to check out the information on Mission Make-It for middle school students. This annual Georgia 4-H engineering event features workshops and student-created STEM exhibits. Set for Aug. 17 at Rock Eagle 4-H Center in nearby Eatonton, the 2019 Mission Make-It theme involves astronomy and space exploration.
And don’t miss the link to the 4-H STEM Lab where you’ll find lots of fun, do-it-yourself science experiments and engineering activities for preschoolers and up. Here at Walton EMC, we’re partial to the Science Bug activity, which is appropriate for kids ages 4 and 5. While making light-up necklaces, they learn about circuits and electricity as they practice lighting up LEDs.
Georgia 4-H clubs will be participating in National Youth Science Day. It’s officially celebrated on Oct. 1, but county 4-H clubs will have events throughout the month.
Every county in Walton EMC’s service area has 4-H offered through a local University of Georgia Cooperative Extension office. To get in touch with the 4-H club nearest you, check this list or call 1-800-ASK-UGA1. New enrollment aligns with the school year, so now is the time to connect your child to 4-H’s STEM-related activities.
One call today could lead to your son or daughter becoming a future Walton EMC team member.