Alabama youth program builds future innovators
An Alabama 4-H STREAM (science, technology, reading, engineering, arts/agriculture and mathematics) program opened the door more than 1,700 urban youths to improve their skills as critical thinkers, communicators and innovators.
Alabama A&M University found that STEM fields are growing at nearly twice the rate of other occupations and could reach more than 9 million by 2022. Therefore, the Alabama Cooperative Extension System helped youth develop critical thinking skills for solving real-world problems and issues that are essential in STEM careers.
Outcomes of the program showed that 1,780 urban youth completed six engaging, hands-on lessons and activities in STREAM, totaling 10,680 contact hours. Additionally, 1,495 (84%) of youth participants demonstrated critical thinking, collaboration and problem solving, and enhanced creativity skills. After attending STEM Day at Alabama A&M University, 1,032 (58%) of youth participants were interested in STEM-related careers and 1,406 (79%) of youth participants showed an increase in the ability to analyze data to draw conclusions.