4-H Science Core Principles and Program Design

The Section 4-H Science Core Principles and Program Design is about program development, implementation, and evaluation. The emphasis is on developing and sustaining quality informal science education programs (as opposed to one-time events or activities) in the context of positive youth development. This point cannot be overstressed – it is what makes 4-H Science unique in the universe of informal science education programs!

There are four content areas in this section that address the content and context of quality 4-H Science programs. The purpose of 4-H Science Program Design - 4-H Science Checklist is threefold: (a) to introduce the 4-H Science Checklist; (b) to provide promising practices to support each of the seven criteria of the 4-H Science Checklist; and (c) to promote 4-H Science 101, a scripted, four-hour training that can also serve as a crucial resource for developing "science ready" programs. Inquiry Based Learning Approaches contains promising practices to help program planners and facilitators implement successful inquiry based 4-H Science programs. Providing Youth Authentic Opportunities to Practice and Share Science Abilities reminds 4-H professionals to plan for such opportunities during the program design stage, and provides venue and activity suggestions.
The most robust program designs will fail to achieve expected results if program facilitators are not adequately trained or supported to consistently (and correctly) deliver programs. The final content area, Training Others to Deliver High Quality Science Programming, addresses this issue of fidelity of implementation.