If you have seen the new movie, “Hidden Figures”, you witnessed the stunning achievement of three African-American women working at NASA alongside employees and astronauts. The resiliency, self-awareness and perseverance demonstrated in this film on several accounts are skills that are necessary to succeed in life- life skills as we call them in 4-H.
After seeing “Hidden Figures”, I was even more exciting to hear the news that in 2017 NASA and 4-H will be teaming up to help students develop these life skills. This new partnership with NASA and 4-H will bring lessons and content built around important foundational skills.
“Expeditionary Skills For Life” will feature lessons and content built around important foundational skills. The initiative launched with a video from Peggy Whitson, a 4-H alum and NASA astronaut currently serving aboard the International Space Station (ISS), highlighting the new program that is now available to the public. The curriculum pairs Whitson’s stay on the ISS with monthly themes such as self-care in January, cultural competency in February, leadership and followership in March and teamwork in April.
For partnerships like this, 4-H brings more than 100 years of experience in developing hands-on, science-based out-of-school experiences for youth and NASA contributes its extraordinary resources and expertise. Together they work with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy on strategic planning and innovative resource development for STEM education.
4-H offers students, teachers and parents a range of other STEM resources for youth including the 4-H National Youth Science Day, the world’s largest youth-led science experiment. In 2016, the Drone Discovery Challenge encouraged youth to explore activities surrounding unmanned flight, from piloting to the computer code behind the scenes.
For more information about the Expeditionary Skills For Life curriculum and to see a video of Whitson, visit http://www.nasa.gov/education/4H.
*Adapted from 4-H and NASA Partner on Space Age STEM Curriculum press release, USDA NIFA, Dec. 2016.