Posted Online: Sept. 28, 2012, 10:24 am

Eco-Bot volunteers needed

Comment on this story

Press release submitted by University of Illinois Extension

Rock Island County 4-H seeks volunteers to help take a National Youth Science Day project to schools and youth agencies

October 10th is 4-H National Youth Science Day. In celebration, University of Illinois Extension, Rock Island County 4-H is offering the Eco-Bot Challenge to 5th grade classrooms and youth agencies between the dates of October 10 through mid November. The goal is to help youth enhance their engineering skills by learning to think like a robotics engineer, assembling their own robots, also known as Eco-bots, and control surfaces in order to manage an environmental clean-up. Youth will then test the interaction between the Eco-Bot's environmental engineering design features and various control surface configurations to determine the most effective environmental clean-up solution for a simulated toxic spill.

Volunteers are sought to attend an upcoming training so they can help 4-H take the program out to schools and youth agencies in the Illinois Quad Cities. The volunteers will be given supplies and can then select a classroom or community youth group to work with based on the volunteers schedule. The volunteers will help youth assemble their own Eco-Bots.

Volunteers can choose to attend one of the following sessions: Trainings to be held at Rock Island County Extension, 321 West 2nd Ave., Milan, IL are on Monday, October 1 from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.; Thursday, October 4th from Noon – 1:00 p.m.; and Wednesday, October 10th from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. There will be an additional training from 11:30 am – 12:30 pm at Augustana College on Wednesday, October 10th. Depending on need and sizes of volunteer groups, other training sites can be offered. Register for the training online at U of I Extension, Rock Island County's website: http://web.extension.illinois.edu/hmrs or call (309) 756-9978.

Today, more than 400,000 4-H youth participate in robotics and engineering programs through 4-H clubs. Our comprehensive robotics curriculum engages youth in grades 4-12 in the discovery of science concepts related to robotics, the engineering design process and exploration of careers in the field. Thanks to ongoing partnerships with leading engineering and technology-based innovators like Lockheed Martin, Toyota, John Deere and FIRST Robotics, 4-H can provide valuable insight into scientific advances of today—engaging 4-H'ers in solving the world's issues just might mean we find the solutions of tomorrow.