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4-H Groups Gearing Up for National Science Experiment

Hundreds of 4-H groups from across the country will unite Oct. 10 by doing the same experiment as part of a broader effort to stimulate students' interest in science.

This will be the fifth annual National Youth Science Day, and each year has involved a different experiment. Last year, students built miniature wind turbines; the year before that, they tested water quality.

This year, they will learn about robotic engineering concepts by programming a self-directed robot to clean up a simulated environmental spill.

Land-grant universities submitted experiment proposals, and The Ohio State University in Columbus, developed the winning Eco-Bot Challenge.

4-H youth will have to assemble the robots, and they will see how its design works with various surfaces to determine the most effective clean-up solution for the simulated spill.

National Youth Science Day is a key part of 4-H's One Million New Scientists campaign, which has a goal of engaging a million new youth in science, engineering, or technology programs by 2013.

4-H officials aren't sure how many kids participated last year, but had 700 events held nationwide with anywhere from 15 to 100 young people in attendance at each, Victoria Houghton, the public relations project manager for the National 4-H Council, told the Rural Ed blog.

Some students will do the Eco-Bot Challenge in conjunction with regular science classes while others will do it outside of school, she said.

To find out how to participate, go here.

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