Burlington--As part of its VTeen 4-H Science Pathways Café series, University of Vermont (UVM) Extension 4-H is sponsoring four free Summer of Science programs in June and July for students entering Grades 7-12 in the fall.

The programs are organized by teens for teens and will focus on a number of exciting topics from GIS and maple to Lake Champlain and the impact of climate change on agriculture. All involve plenty of fun hands-on activities and a chance to interact with experts in these fields and learn about career opportunities.

Sign up is required as enrollment is limited. Registrations will be accepted at https://vteen4hsummerofscience.eventbrite.com until June 1 or all spaces are filled. Details and directions for where to meet will be provided upon acceptance.

To request a disability-related accommodation to participate, contact Lauren Traister, UVM Extension 4-H Teen and Leadership Program coordinator, at (802) 888-4972 or (866) 260-5603 by June 1.

Opportunities include:

GIS CAMP, June 24-28, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. daily. This camp will focus on how researchers use GIS (Geographic Information Systems) to map data. Campers will study spatial analysis and mapmaking in ArcGIS software and learn how to use these in real-world decision making. A panel discussion will provide insight into careers and ways professionals use GIS. Participants will be required to complete a short tutorial prior to camp to assess their computer skills.

FARMING, CLIMATE CHANGE AND WATER QUALITY, July 11, 9 a.m.-noon; UVM Miller Research Farm, Burlington. Youths will conduct experiments to study the potential impact of climate change on agriculture and discover how nutrients and water move through an agricultural environment. With the help of Joshua Faulkner, UVM Extension Farming and Climate Change Program, they will take soil, water and vegetation samples and analyze water quality to see how ecological processes can be used to treat contaminated water on a farm.

SCIENCE ON LAKE CHAMPLAIN, July 25, full day or half-day (9 a.m.-noon or 1-4 p.m.); This watershed science program begins with a morning excursion on Lake Champlain on the Melosira, UVM's research vessel, with UVM Extension Watershed Alliance staff to conduct various tests and collect data, followed by a visit to the Fish Dissection Lab. In the afternoon participants will paddle with Lake Champlain Community Sailing Center staff to hear about local citizen science efforts that help the lake ecosystem.

THE SCIENCE OF MAPLE, July 31, 9-11:30 a.m.; UVM Proctor Maple Research Center, Underhill. In this café teens will learn about the different methods and measurement tools, including hydrometers and refractometers, used to measure syrup density, analyze syrup color and grade syrup and will try their hand at grading syrup. Other activities may include learning how to measure tree diameters, identify trees using leaves and bark and a tour of the research center.

In addition to the free cafés, students entering Grades 7-10 in the fall can sign up for the Natural Resources Management Academy, July 19-21, at the Green Mountain Conservation Camp in Woodbury. The $125 registration fee covers accommodations for two nights, all meals and activities including hands-on workshops led by natural resources management professionals. The deadline to register is June 1. Go to www.uvm.edu/extension/youth/announcements. Scholarship aid is available.


Lauren A. Traister