The 4-H program is made up of three primary content areas: citizenship, healthy living, and science. These three areas, or mission mandates, can work together in different activities, learning experiences, and projects. Because the 4-H program is administered through the land grant university system throughout the United States, the research findings and teaching of those institutions is the educational foundation for all 4-H programming. Learn more at


The United States is falling dangerously behind other nations in developing its future workforce of scientists, engineers and technology experts. To ensure global competitiveness, we must act now to prepare the next generation of leaders in these fields.

4-H will address our nation’s critical challenge by preparing young people engaged in our programs to excel in science, engineering and technology. 4-H programs teach youth through hands-on learning experience which encourage young minds and fill the pipeline of young leaders proficient in these in-demand fields.

The core areas of Science in 4-H are:

  • Animal Science & Agriculture
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Consumer Science
  • Engineering
  • Environmental Science & Natural Resources
  • Life Science
  • Robotics
  • Technology

Learn more about National 4-H’s commitment to science here. You can also check out National 4-H’s latest Science PSA.

Science Programming

National Youth Science Day

The most visible science programming in Indiana 4-H is 4-H National Youth Science Day (NYSD) in early October. Stared in 2008, NYSD features a nationwide science experiment that gives 4-H members a hands-on learning experience. Past experiments have focused on hydrogels, biofuels, and water quality.

Learn more about NYSD at the National 4-H website or contact your County Extension Educator to learn about NYSD in your county.

Other Science Programming

In addition to NYSD, Indiana 4-H is working together with generous grant providers like the Lilly Endowment and Pioneer to redouble its science programming efforts.

A new statewide science initiative, made possible by the Lilly Endowment, will engage science companies across the state with Indiana 4-H members. The goal of the initiative is to partner experts in different science areas with 4-H youth to offer engaging and fun avenues to explore science careers. In addition to training science experts across the state to work with youth, the new Indiana 4-H initiative will equip Purdue Extension Educators with new tools and methods to generate excitement about science careers and provide youth members with fun educational experiences. A team of Purdue Extension Educators is also working with faculty and staff in the Department of Youth Development and Agricultural Education to develop a strategy for “science volunteer” recruitment and training. If you’re interested in becoming a scientist volunteer or learning about science programming in your county contact the Foundation’s Executive Director today.

Another part of Indiana 4-H science programming is made possible by a grant from Pioneer Community Investment. This effort focuses on using mini science grants to help establish new 4-H clubs that will place special emphasis on involving female and minority youth as well as engaging a diverse population of Indiana 4-H science volunteers.

Science Project Areas

There are more than 70 project areas in Indiana 4-H that you can learn about and access resources for here. Below is a list of just some of the project areas that fall under the Science mission mandate.

  • Aerospace
  • Agricultural Tractor
  • Alfalfa
  • Aquatic Science
  • Beef
  • Beekeeping
  • Computer
  • Corn
  • Crops
  • Dairy
  • Electric
  • Entomology
  • Floriculture
  • Forestry
  • Geology
  • Livestock
  • Mission to Mars
  • Plant Science
  • Poultry
  • Small Engine
  • Soil and Water Conservation
  • Soybeans
  • Veterinary Science
  • Weather
  • Wildlife
  • Wood Science