4-H National Science Day: “Incredible Wearables”

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Since 2008, 4‑H National Youth Science Day (NYSD) has engaged millions of youth around the world in exciting and innovative Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) learning experiences, from wind power to robotics to drones.

This year’s cutting edge 4-H NYSD theme is “Incredible Wearables”. From watches and eyewear to fashion and virtual reality headsets, wearable technologies are fast becoming the must-have accessory for people around the world. Wearable technologies didn’t start out as trendy however – one of the world’s first wearable technologies was the hearing aid! Wearable technologies are now used in industries around the globe, from education and sports, to health, fashion, entertainment, transportation and communication. Even agriculture is entering the wearable space with bio-metric ear tag sensors that can identify and signal illness in animals

On October 4th, youth in Lee County will join approximately a hundred thousand youth across the country in leading the tenth annual 4-H National Youth Science Day (4-H NYSD) challenge. This year’s challenge will introduce youth to the burgeoning field of wearable fitness trackers in a hands-on, interactive design challenge. Youth must design a device to measure multiple biological signals and convey those signals to data that can be analyzed. In order for the product to be viable, the device should be small, comfortable, unobtrusive to the wearer and aesthetically pleasing.

Designed by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, “Incredible Wearables” allows youth to work together to design, build and refine a wearable fitness tracker that is easy-to-use and operate. Incredible Wearables will teach youth a wide variety of skills related to engineering a wearable device, including building circuits, integrating sensors, designing a viable product and interpreting health data.

Lee County 4-H will host the event on October 4th from 3:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. at the McSwain Center. Youth 4th grade and above can register for the event through our Lee County 4-H NC Facebook site or call the Extension Center at 919-775-5624 to reserve a spot.

Bill Stone is County Extension Director for North Carolina Cooperative Extension in Lee County.