New Hanover County Youth to Send Rockets to the Rescue as Part of 4-H National Youth Science Day

Posted October 8, 2014 at 7:29 am     Category: Arboretum & NCSU Extension ServiceNews Release

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC – Today, youth in New Hanover County 4-H will design and build an aerodynamic craft designed to deliver a payload of food to natural disaster victims as part of 4-H National Youth Science Day (4-H NYSD), the world’s largest, youth-led science experiment. The activity, called Rockets to the Rescue, was designed by University of Arizona Cooperative Extension and selected as the winning experiment for the seventh annual 4-H NYSD. Youth all over the nation, and some globally, will also conduct the same experiment at hundreds of local events taking place in all 50 states.

The national rallying event for 4-H Science, 4-H NYSD is an interactive learning experience that gets youth excited about science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), and spotlights the many ways millions of youth are engaging in 4-H Science programs year-round.

New Hanover County 4-H youth will conduct the Rockets to the Rescue experiment at the New Hanover County Main Library and will respond to a fictional scenario: A natural disaster has left people without food on a remote, isolated Pacific island, and the youth have been asked to build a rocket that can be launched from the mainland, travel over the ocean and deliver high-energy food to the population. The experiment combines two 4-H issue areas—science and food security—and incorporates aerospace engineering concepts to help youth design a rocket out of everyday materials, including recyclable two-liter bottles, cotton balls, pipe cleaners, rubber bands and a protractor.

“Our nation is falling behind other countries in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math,” shares Leslie Dill, 4-H Agent with the New Hanover County Cooperative Extension Service. “However, participation in high-quality positive youth development programs like 4-H NYSD offers youth and adults the opportunity to engage in scientific exploration and work together to build the next generation of our nation’s scientists, engineers and mathematicians.”

This free local event will be held at the Main Library in downtown Wilmington from 4:00-6:00pm for youth in 4th grade and up.

“I participated in 4-H National Youth Science Day last year and had great time learning about geospatial technology,” said Gracie Grant, age 12, daughter of Paul and Melinda Grant of Wilmington. “Science is now my favorite subject in school, the experiments are really cool! I can’t wait to try out Rockets to the Rescue this year.”

A recent longitudinal study conducted by Tufts University, The Positive Development of Youth: Comprehensive Findings from the 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development revealed 4-H programming does indeed get young people more connected to science. According to the study, 4-H’ers are two times more likely to participate in science programs during out-of-school time (grades 10-12) and 4-H girls are two times more likely (grade 10) and nearly three times more likely (grade 12) to take part in science programs, compared to girls in other out-of-school time activities.

The national sponsors of 2014 4-H NYSD are Lockheed Martin, Hughes (HughesNet Satellite Internet) and John Deere. Other partners include Dow AgroSciences, NBC Learn, Afterschool Alliance, and NASA who have all collaborated on this event.

Since 2008, more than five million youth have completed 4-H NYSD experiments and 4-H science projects in robotics, agricultural science, rocketry, wind power, environmental science and alternative energy. To learn more about 4-H NYSD, visit

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Release contact:

Leslie Dill
4-H Agent, Cooperative Extension

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