UNION COUNTY, NJ – Educators and afterschool program staff can add to their toolkit of hands-on science activities by attending the nextDesign It! Explore It! series of professional development workshops. The programs were created by the Rutgers Cooperative Extension 4-H Youth Development program and the New Jersey School-Age Care Coalition.

“This program helps educators bring high-tech subject matter down to earth with familiar materials and fun activities,” said Union County Freeholder Chairman Bruce H. Bergen. “When students can engage with important science and engineering concepts and practice teamwork at a young age, they gain a firm platform for future academic success.”

The Design It! Explore It! workshops include everything educators need to introduce science and engineering activities to students in grades 2-8, with an emphasis on working in teams.

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Ongoing support from professionals with the Rutgers 4-H program is also part of the package.

  • Design It! includes balls and tracks, gliders, paper bridges, rubber band-powered cars, straw Rockets and trebuchets (trebuchet refers to a mechanical device used for launching objects into the air). 
  • Explore It! includes cake chemistry, heating a house and an oven, measuring ourselves, sinking and floating, siphon systems and wiring a house.

The workshops will be held during the 2016-2017 school year in October, January and March at the Cook Student Center at Rutgers University in New Brunswick.

Online enrollment and payment are due by June 17, 2016.  For information on enrollment packages visit nj4h.rutgers.edu/educators. For questions about the program contact Chad Ripberger, Rutgers 4-H, ripberger@rce.rutgers.edu (questions about enrollment and payment may be directed to  Mike MacEwan, NJ SACC, mmacewan@njsacc.org).