Making A Difference in Our County
University of Georgia Cooperative Extension is working hard for its constituents. The following are examples of Extension’s impact in the county over the past year.
4-H Youth Development
In March 2018, Cobb County 4-H coordinated the third annual Cobb 4-H Family Science Night as a part of the Atlanta Science Festival, which is an annual public celebration of science and technology across the metro Atlanta area. The event draws thousands of participants annually and is geared towards all age levels. According to the Atlanta Science Festival, the goal is to “expand our community of science enthusiasts and inspire a new generation of curious thinkers.”
The Cobb County 4-H staff worked to accomplish this by hosting an event where families could participate in hands-on science stations and learn together. Participants rotated through a wide variety of science stations addressing forestry and wood science, electricity, DNA extraction from a strawberry, virtual reality, composting, elephant toothpaste, water filtration systems, microorganisms and zoonotic diseases. Cobb County 4-H collaborated with the UGA Extension Family and Consumer Sciences program, the UGA Extension Agricultural and Natural Resources program, the Cobb County Water Department, Cobb County Master Gardener Extension Volunteers and the Cobb County Farm Bureau to bring a wide variety of science expertise to the Cobb 4-H Family Science Night and provide a diverse science experience for families.
Cobb 4-H Family Science Night had 82 attendees who participated in hands-on science activities. Afterward, 100 percent of the families agreed that participation in 4-H Family Science night added value to their family time spent together. Also, 97 percent of the families agreed that participation in the hands-on stations increased their child’s understanding of the science concepts featured. One parent noted, “Even moms and adults can learn from basic science concepts.” Cobb County 4-H staff taught hands-on science lessons based on the Georgia Standards of Excellence at 17 Cobb County and Marietta schools. Lessons included Georgia Barrier Islands and Erosion, Microorganisms, Physical Versus Chemical Change, States of Matter, Electricity and Inherited Trails. Each lesson included an experiment and inquiry-based questions to consider while testing the content-based experiment. This provided additional STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) opportunities for Cobb County youth to aid in the development of proficient and distinguished learners who will play a primary role in the future of our workforce.
Family and Consumer Sciences
Family and Consumer Sciences program assistants coordinated a youth Cooking Club for middle-school-aged children teaching healthy recipes, safe food handling, safe knife handling and food preparation. This was a six-week program with 25 youth participants graduating with a Cooking and Food Skills Certificate. Students began with fresh ingredients, chopped produce, measured content, and worked together to compile ingredients and prepare recipes. Once the food was prepared, the students discussed portion measurements and taste. Along with the hands-on lessons, the students were also educated on the nutritional factors of the food they were preparing and how to plan for a nutritionally balanced meal. Student comments included, “I didn’t know cooking healthy tasted this good. I tried foods I never have and I like them!” Another student said, “I am going to eat better and begin trying new things. It will also be fun to go grocery shopping with my mom.”