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A participant in the 2008 National Youth Science Day learns about water conservation as she completes the Helpful Hydrogels national experiment with friends.

State Program Contact

Bradley (Brad) Barker
Science and Technology Specialist
(402) 472-9008
4-H Youth Development, 114 AGH,
Lincoln, NE 68583-0700


4-H National Youth Science Day

The 4-H National Youth Science Day (NYSD) is the premiere national rallying event for year-round 4-H Science programming, bringing together youth, volunteers, and educators from the nation’s 109 land-grant colleges and universities and the Cooperative Extension System, to simultaneously complete the National Science Experiment. 

For more than 100 years, 4-H has been at the forefront of teaching youth about science, engineering, technology and math (STEM). 4-H National Youth Science Day seeks to spark an early youth interest and leadership in science. Currently, more than five million young people across the nation participate in 4-H STEM programming in topics as varied as robotics, agricultural science, rocketry, wind power, environmental science and alternative energy.

Each year, a new national science experiment is announced by National 4-H Council.  Experiments from previous years have included topics such as water quality and climate change, alternative energy sources, and water conservation.  All youth in Nebraska are encouraged to join millions of young people across the nation as they complete the national science experiment on National Youth Science Day.  The national science experiment may be completed anywhere -- individually or within a school classroom, a 4-H or non-4-H club, an afterschool setting, or any other type of group. 

NYSD2013This Year's Experiment: 4-H Maps & Apps!

On Wednesday, October 9, 2013, millions of young people across the nation will become scientists for the day during the sixth annual 4-H National Youth Science Day (NYSD)! The sixth annual 4-H National Youth Science Day will focus on 4-H Maps & Apps.

This year's experiment, 4-H Maps & Apps, was designed by Colorado State University Extension. This set of activties will turn young people into geospatial thinkers as they design and map their ideal park, use GIS mapping to solve community problems, and contribute data about their community to the United States Geological Survey.

NYSD Makes a Difference

Research shows that participation in 4-H makes a positive difference in the lives of young people. Youth development scholar Dr. Richard Lerner worked with researchers at the Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development at Tufts University to conduct the 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development. The longitudinal study has found that, compared to their peers, young people involved in 4-H are:

  • Nearly two times more likely to get better grades in school
  • Nearly two times more likely to plan to go to college
  • Nearly three times more likely to participate in science, engineering, or computer technology programs.

By connecting important scientific lessons to civic engagement, 4-H youth become a living, breathing, culture-changing movement for doing the right thing, breaking through obstacles and pushing the country forward to successfully face the challenges of the future.

Program Information

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