Cumberland County 4-H Invites Bridgeton Pathways Students to Spy on Nature

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MILLVILLE - Students in the Bridgeton 21st Century Pathways Program took part in hands-on experiential learning with Cumberland County 4-H during the week of July 13th.
The Rutgers Cooperative Extension 4-H Youth Development Program partnered with Bridgeton Schools to engage youth in science, engineering, and the arts. The week-long program, designed by County 4-H Agent Julie Karavan, invited students to spy on nature, learning how Rutgers scientists and engineers monitor local species and habitats. Students produced their own constructions and personal creations – including underwater robots, contact prints, poetry, and artwork, based on their first-hand observations.
The program included a service learning opportunity with Jenny Paterno of Project PORTS. Participants visited the Rutgers Haskin Shellfish Lab and created over 100 shell bags to provide habitat to oysters. Students also were able to take a tour of the gardens at Rutgers Cooperative Extension, where they constructed LEGO based underwater robots designed to retrieve a simulated biological sample or marine debris.
Cumberland County 4-H alumna Nicole Smith joined Karavan in the classroom. A graduate of the University of Delaware, Nicole holds a bachelor’s in environmental studies. Nicole attributes her public speaking skills and leadership abilities to her experience in the Cumberland County 4-H program.
“Rutgers colleagues made this a fabulous experience for the kids," said Karavan. "Having a 4-H alum return in a staff position to teach in the schools really enriched the program.”
Smith was part of the 4-H program for 12 years. She was a member of Pony Pals 4-H Club, 4-H Teen Council, and Bow-wows 4-H Club. As an active 4-H’er, Smith competed at the State 4-H Horse Show, hippology, horse judging, and horse bowl competitions. Among her many accomplishments in the county 4-H program, Nicole was selected as a 4-H Ambassador, 4-H  Equestrian of the Year, and competed at the national level in horse bowl.

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