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This program offers small-group mentoring experiences with a focus on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills. In addition to building positive relationships with their mentors, young people learn about STEM topics such as robotics, video editing and rocketry. Mentors help young people build positive relationships with a caring adult. Add STEM training and you have the potential of lasting impact on how youth view college and careers they may never have considered alone. The 4-H Tech Wizards program advances methods for this mentoring and programming to take place - PRICELESS!

Youth and the mentors are matched by interest and needs of the youth. All mentors are screened by University of Illinois Extension Volunteer screening procedures and provided training throughout their mentoring experience.

More than 200 youth each year are involved in afterschool, summer, and other special programs. Interaction help participants develop a greater understanding of the important roles science and technology can play in their current lives and in future career options. Youth are paired with a mentor for a calendar year while being involved in the program. 4-H Tech Wizards combines weekly educational sessions, summer camp options, field trips to colleges and STEM-related locales, community service activities, and family event to enrich the experience.

University of Illinois Extension 4-H has participated in the National 4-H Mentoring Program grant since 2010. This grant provides Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention funds to establish locations throughout Illinois. Counties which do not currently participate in the program can also incorporate 4-H Tech Wizards into their programming by meeting specific criteria related to the mentoring program.

TRY IF YOU LIKE: Robotics, Engineering, Problem Solving, Teamwork

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