There is growing concern in the United States that there will be a shortage of scientists in the
not-too-distant future. To address this issue, 4-H identified as one of its priorities to meet the
needs of children, youth and the nation with high quality science, engineering and technology
learning programs (4-H SET Checklist). 4-H’s approach is comprehensive and holistic: from
agriculture to climate change to alternative energy, youth are learning about highly relevant
complex systems and issues that will ensure their contributions to their communities today and
their success as global leaders tomorrow (http://www.4-h.org/youth-development-programs/4-
National 4-H leaders saw that within the environmental sciences, a 2002 edition of Exploring
Your Environment (Hartz & Carlson) needed to be updated and to incorporate relevant
ecosystem and world environmental issues. The curriculum first originated in Minnesota, so a
team of writers from the University of Minnesota Extension 4-H program was asked to rewrite
Haugen, Heidi; Meyer, Rebecca; Piehl, Barbara; Pokorney, Nicole.
Exploring Your Environment: A National 4-H Curriculum.
St. Paul, MN: University of Minnesota Extension Service.
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