Sioux Falls Regional Extension Center News

South Dakota 4-H to celebrate the 4-H National Youth Science Day and the International Walk to School Day

 

The 4-H National Youth Science Day (NYSD) project, Maps & Apps, explores how geography and geographic information systems (GIS) help people make smart decisions that improve lives, respect our natural resources and make a positive impact in our world.

 

“Youth who participate in Maps & Apps program will work in teams to map a park within their community and use GIS layers to assess community problems, like where to place trash receptacles,” said Christine Wood, SDSU Extension 4-H STEM Field Specialist.

 

She explained that Walk to School Day events raise awareness of the need to create safer routes for walking and bicycling and emphasize the importance of issues such as increasing physical activity among children, pedestrian safety, traffic congestion and concern for the environment.

 

“The events build connections between families, schools and the broader community,” said Nikki Prosch, SDSU Extension Health and Physical Activity Field Specialist.

 

Youth participating in the Maps & Apps project can use GPS units to mark their walking route as well as to mark locations where sidewalks are needed, where there is high traffic, or even where there is a lot of trash.

 

“This information can then be gathered by community officials to determine where sidewalk repairs need to be made, where traffic guards need to be placed, or where trash receptacles can be located.  This knowledge and information can also be utilized for a Safe Routes to School program,” Prosch said.

 

The two events work well together as youth can utilize what they learn from the NYSD project about geospatial science with their walk to school.

 

For additional local information, please contact Nikki Prosch at 605-882-5140 or Christine Wood at 605-783-3290.

 

For additional information, please visit these websites: National Youth Science Day at www.4-h.org/4-h-national-youth-science-day/; Walk to School Day in the USA at www.walkbiketoschool.org; National Center for Safe Routes to School at www.saferoutesinfo.org; and International Walk to School Day at www.iwalktoschool.org.

 

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