Category Archives: Curriculum and Learning

2015 4-H Insect Collection Contest @ Hokie Bugfest

Good Morning Everyone,

It’s time to start collecting insects for the 2015 4-H Insect Collection Contest @ Hokie Bugfest. This year Bugfest will be held on October 17th, at the Inn at Virginia Tech. We encourage you to make an insect collection with your 4-H club and bring your collection for judging at Hokie Bugfest. A flyer is attached will full details about the contest. Prizes will be offered! Join us for a fun-filled and unforgettable day at Hokie Bugfest!

Thank you,


Stephanie L. Blevins
Consumer Education Project Manager
Virginia Tech Pesticide Programs
Department of Entomology
302 Agnew Hall (0409)
Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061
P: (540) 231-6543 F: (540) 231-3057

4-H Insect Collection Contest_Hokie Bugfest 2015


Maker Movement and Virginia 4-H:  As I researched  the “Maker Movement” across America and explored the results of a first 4-H grant cycle in four states, I looked for relevant connections to 4-H and have concluded that this form of unchartered creative thinking and doing is definitely a step into the future of Virginia 4-H, if the field finds it as exciting as I did!  It is based on the core of what we already do so well in 4-H — hands-on minds on learning —  yet stretches us to find common ground with a culture of creative tinkerers in authentic environments who find solutions to relevant needs and problems.  What a blast for kids who want clothing that lights up with different dance movements or kids who want to play music through celery sticks and other vegetables or those who want to build their own solar model car beyond the kit.  Think of the camps and clubs and projects, oh my!

I’ll offer a few points of reference and my support/encouragement to explore and include the Maker way of thinking and doing as a part of your 4-H programming. Maker activities are effective ways to thread STEM across all programming areas. They can also serve as exciting “hooks” into deeper content learning in any program area. Make is a relevant, engaging way to capture the interest of kids and enlist the support of community  “do-it-yourselfer” volunteers.  It also provides a new lens through which to look for volunteers. Please Kathleen Jamison if you want to learn more about Make. I will send a follow-up email to the system with attachments and weblinks.

Virginia 4-H Makers  will be one topic of discussion at a STEM committee meeting being scheduled during the 2013 Symposium on Friday. Also, a Master Track session to explore this topic with Dr. Phyllis Newbill, professor from the Institute of Creativity, Arts, and Technology at Virginia Tech, is offered at the symposium. Connect with those who attend for more information. Another source of information is Rita Schalk (Hanover County) who was involved in a Maker Grant that offered collaboration among K-12,  4-H, and an already established mentoring grant in her locality. Additional funding is  being sought for interested agents in a variety of 4-H settings.

If Maker piques your interest, start searching Maker Movement, Make Magazine, DYI Movement, 4-H Makers, and  get excited! Sift through ideas and activities to choose the ones that fit into your intntionally planned program and integrate them as needed to sprinkle some excitement. Look for my email that provides some 4-H connections and a short lit review from a colleague in CA.   I love this stuff!


2013-14 Watershed Educators Institute

WEI brochure 2013-2014

Virginia 4-H in partnership with the DEQ have been awarded a grant from NOAA to train professionals to be Certified Watershed Educators. This grant will cover the fees and travel expenses for training for up to 10 Agents/4-H Center Program Directors and will also provide funding to conduct a meaningful watershed experience in your locality when the training is completed. Many of you are already doing good work in watershed education and this would be a perfect fit for you. I am sending this to both ANR and 4-H Agents as it may be appropriate for either. Selected participants will commit to completing 5 workshops which will be conducted over the next year and will take place in the James River Watershed area. The first workshop will be on October 25th at Camp Albemarle in Albemarle County. A brochure is attached which explains the institute in more detail with workshop dates and locations for your information. If you are applying to be selected for funding, please do NOT register directly by using the registration link on the brochure. In order to know who will receive support I will need to submit a separate list to DEQ of the ones participating. To apply for funding please complete the survey link below by Friday, October 4th. You will be notified by Wednesday, October 9th of your acceptance status.

Reality Store and Kids Marketplace Materials on the Intranet

Thanks to the great work of Dawn Barnes and Kim Turman–Floyd County UAA–The Reality Store and Kids Marketplace materials have all been updated and uploaded to the Complete Programs section of the FCS agent resource sharing site. This should hopefully make it easy for those of us doing RS and KM programs to access the materials if you don’t have them already.

As a reminder, you can reach the resource sharing site by going to the intranet, clicking on FCS, and scrolling down to Resources From Previous Professional Development Events where you’ll find a link to FCS Agent Resource Sharing Site. Once there you’ll need to enter our PID and password in order to access the site. You can also follow this link to reach the site:

2013 4-H Honey Bee Essay Winners

Each year Virginia 4-H sponsors a Honey Bee Essay in conjunction with The Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees, Inc. sponsored  National 4-H Honey Bee Essay Contest.  The first place winner of the Virginia contest is forwarded on to the National Contest before March 1st and competes with other state winners.  Winners of the National Contest are announced on May 1 each year and are eligible for up to $750 in prize money.

We are proud to announce the winners of the Virginia Honey Bee Essay Contest as follows:

First Place with $100 prize and forwarded on to the National Contest

 Olivia Perry – Rockingham County 4-Her

Second Place with $50 prize

Rachel King – Richmond 4-Her

Third Place with $25 prize

Jessica Vass – Carroll County 4-Her

Congratulations ladies!  If you would like to participate in this contest look for information coming out for 2014 in September.  In the meantime visit and check out the link to the 4-H Essay Contest.


4-H 201 Curriculum and Recorded Webinar Link

The recorded Webinar for 4-H 201 is now available on the 4-H Military Partnership website at  Click on Professional Development in the left column, then click on Recorded Webinars.  It is the first Webinar listed – Introducing 4-H 201.

The 4-H 201 curriculum and power point slides are also available on the same website.  Click on Curriculum Resources and then on 4-H 201.