4-H and FIRST
A Match Made in Hog Heaven…
4‑H is delivered by Cooperative Extension—a community of more than 100 public universities across the nation that provides experiences where young people learn by doing. For more than 100 years, 4‑H has welcomed young people of all beliefs and backgrounds, giving kids a voice to express who they are and how they make their lives and communities better. Through life-changing 4‑H programs, nearly six million kids have taken on critical societal issues, such as addressing community health inequities, engaging in civil discourse and advocating for equity and inclusion for all.
In 4‑H, kids complete hands-on projects in areas like health, science, agriculture and civic engagement in a positive environment where they receive guidance from adult mentors and are encouraged to take on proactive leadership roles. Kids experience 4‑H in every county and parish in the country through in-school and after-school programs, school and community clubs and 4‑H camps.
4‑H’s reach and depth are unmatched, reaching kids in every corner of America – from urban neighborhoods to suburban schoolyards to rural farming communities. Our network of 500,000 volunteers and 3,500 4‑H professionals provides caring and supportive mentoring to all 6 million 4‑H’ers, helping them grow into true leaders today and in life.
FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) was founded in 1989 to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology. Based in Manchester, NH, the 501(c)(3) not-for-profit public charity designs accessible, innovative programs that motivate young people to pursue education and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math, while building self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills.
FIRST is More Than Robots. FIRST participation is proven to encourage students to pursue education and careers in STEM-related fields, inspire them to become leaders and innovators, and enhance their 21 st century work-life skills. Read more about the Impact of FIRST.
The mission of FIRST® is to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders and innovators, by engaging them in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering, and technology skills, that inspire innovation, and that foster well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership.
FIRST engages kids in kindergarten through high school in exciting, mentor-based, research and robotics programs that help them become science and technology leaders, as well as well-rounded contributors to society.
Why We Combine the Two
4-H Exploding Bacon Robotics Team 1902 is both a FIRST Robotics Competition Team and a 4-H Club in Orange County 4-H. After our first year of existence, we decided to drop all school affiliation, and become a part of 4-H. Our team was among the first to realize that the goals of 4-H: to “[create] supportive environments for diverse youth and adults to reach their fullest potential.” coincide quite well with the goals of the FIRST Program: to “Inspire young people to be science and technology leaders … build science, engineering and technology skills, that inspire innovation … foster self-confidence, communication and leadership.”
Since then, we have benefited from the many activities and advantages of being affiliated with the Orange County 4-H. Our 4-H relationship not only provides us with financial/liability support and non-profit status, but also allows us to work our own schedule and accept Central Florida public, private and home school students. This ties in with our original founding goal to create an active, successful team in which any student may join.