We have a lot of exciting opportunities for youth to get involved with science programs in 4-H! To see what we offer statewide, review our Opportunities in 4-H STEM (PDF 0.3MB). 

4-H Engineering Challenge

Engineering challenges are fun and engaging ways to allow youth to compete in various STEM disciplines like bridge building, energy, GPS, robotics, rocketry, and more. South Carolina 4-H Engineering Challenge is offered in the spring annually to youth, ages 9-18, across the state. The goals of this 4-H program are to provide a safe learning environment where youth can try, fail, and try again, gain valuable life skills, increase interest, confidence, and knowledge in science, and encourage futures in STEM-related careers. Some challenges require club or classroom work prior to the competition event. Other challenges require youth to create their designs onsite. In addition to challenges, the South Carolina 4-H Engineering Challenge hosts a STEAM Fair to further excite youth about opportunities in STEM careers and education. Since it began in 2012, the competition has grown to over 250 participants annually. Youth that participate report increased confidence and knowledge in science skills. We will continue with this effort to grow and support additional 4-H Engineering Challenges within the STEM field. Register here for the SC 4-H Engineering Challenge!  Please share our event flyer (PDF 0.8MB). 

  • Deadline to register is March 1, 2019. 
  • Register HERE
    • For each child registered, we will ask the following information:
      • First and last name
      • Age division (based on their age as of January 1, 2019)
      • County (where they reside OR where they participate in 4-H, either is fine)
      • Demographics (race, ethnicity, gender)
      • T-shirt size
      • Whether they will eat the chicken sandwich provided lunch
      • Contact information (email or phone number) 
  • Saturday, March 30, 2019 at South Carolina State Fairgrounds
  • Open to youth ages 5*-18 years of age (age calculated as of January 1, 2019)
    • Team Challenges (2-4 youth per team) include: 
      • Bridge Building
      • Lego Robotics
      • Mystery
      • Rocketry
    • Individual Challenges (1 youth only) include:
      • Coding (Scratch-based platform - Youth registered in this challenge can also register for/participate in the Bridge Building or Mystery Challenge)
      • Photography (Do not have to be present to win - Can register/participate in other challenges in addition to this one)
  • Six different challenges are available to choose from!!!  (Click on each Challenge to learn more.) 

Sign up to volunteer with us at the Engineering Challenge.  (No experience necessary!!!) 

Information on sponsoring or donating to our Engineering Challenge - Sponsor Levels (PDF 0.1MB). Register online or contact Ashley Burns at taberp@clemson.edu or 404-580-7984 to discuss sponsorship needs and options. 

For individuals, companies, or groups that would be interested in #InspiringKidstoDo through a hands-on or interactive exhibit at our STEAM Fair, you may also register online. You will be provided with an 8-foot table for display, along with lunch and t-shirt for up to 3 people.  There is a $50 fee to help us offset event and rental expenses. Nonprofit organizations are exempt from this fee, as well as any group that is not able to afford this expense.  Use the promotion code: NONPROFIT to register free of charge.  Contact Katie Burch (korishe@clemson.edu) with questions. 

*Most challenges, with the exception of the Photography Challenge, are only open to youth ages 9-18 years of age. Read individual challenge documents above for eligibility requirements. 


For science-related resources, check out our 4-H Science on the Move initiative, taking hands-on activities across the state.  Teachers and 4-H volunteers, you are going to want to take advantage this resource!!!

Science on the Move logo

The coordinator for 4-H Science on the Move is Mrs. Katie Burch (korishe@clemson.edu).  

National Youth Science Day

Do you love science and want to be a part of the world's largest youth-led science experiment?!  Participate in 4-H National Youth Science Day (NYSD)!  Experiment guides and tutorials for past experiments can be found on National 4-H Council's website

    • Code Your World - 2018 - introduction to computer-science and coding concepts (3 of 4 activities do NOT require a computer!)
    • Incredible Wearables - 2017 - a fun way for kids to build wearable fitness trackers. 
    • Drone Discovery - 2016 - explores the science behind drones and how they are being used to solve real world problems
    • Motion Commotion - 2015 - learn about physics, speed, and safety
    • Rockets to the Rescue - 2014 - explore the field of aerospace engineering
    • Maps and Apps - 2013 - solve community problems and contribute data using GIS mapping
    • EcoBot Challenge - 2012 - think like a robotics engineer to clean up the environment
    • Wired for Wind - 2011 - explore how to engineer renewable energy technologies
    • 4-H2O - 2010 - demonstrate how carbon dioxide builds up in the atmosphere
    • Biofuel Blast - 2009 - understand the production of biofuel ethanol
    • Helpful Hydrogels - 2008 - explore water conservation with a superabsorbant hydrogel

Clemson University submitted a proposal for NYSD 2016 on the topic of Drones.  Although the proposal was not selected for the national challenge, we wanted to share it with you as an optional activity you could use with youth and can generate excitement about this year's NYSD Challenge!  Look for the official announcement about 2016 NYSD coming this summer. 

Hone your Drone - Clemson University's 2016 NYSD Proposal

  • Instructional Resources
  • Materials to make your own 'kit' (less than $20)
    • 10 feet of 1/2-inch PVC (cut to the following lengths) 
      • 4 pieces at 14 in. long
      • 2 pieces at 13.5 in. long
      • 4 pieces at 6.5 in. long
    • Four 1/2-inch PVC 90-degree elbows
    • Two 1/2-inch PVC slip couplings
    • 4 small eye-hook screws
    • Package of flexible straws
    • Kite string
    • printed Hone your Drone map
    • petri dish (or other small, shallow dish)
    • small amount of liquid laundry detergent
    • salt or sugar (or other granular substance)
  • Recommended accessories
    • Scissors
    • Index cards
    • Paper clips
    • Binder clips
    • Permanent marker
    • Tape 
    • Yard stick 

South Carolina 4-H Science Program Leader:

T. Ashley Burns, Ph.D.
Assistant Director, 4-H Youth Development
Clemson University Cooperative Extension
2057 Barre Hall
Clemson, SC 29634