Friday, December 06, 2013

4-H Gear-Tech 21 Robotics Camps Introduce 111 Youth in Howell and Texas Counties to Science and Engineering

Contact: Dr. Amy Patillo, 4-H youth development specialist
Headquartered in Howell County
Tel: (417) 256-2391

WEST PLAINS, Mo. -- University of Missouri Extension supported 4-H Gear-Tech 21 Robotics camps in Howell and Texas counties provided a robotics experience to 111 youth this year.

“The robotics course is an ideal way to introduce science, math, engineering, and technology while teaching life skills. Through hands-on activities, the 4-H robotics projects teach basic concepts related to robotic subsystems like structure, power, sensors, control, and programming,” said Dr. Amy Patillo, a University of Missouri Extension 4-H youth development specialist.


Through a partnership with Howell County Extension office, the West Plains Boys and Girls Club Gear-Tech 21 Robotics served 83 youth through the summer program.

Bennie Gunter, an 11-year old 4-H club member, showed his talent and character during the robotics activities. Bennie set himself apart in his work and was extremely excited about the course according to Dakota Crow, director of the Boys and Girls Club.

“We are so excited to be a part of Bennie’s smiles and the excitement the robotics course brings to all our Club members,” said Crow.

When Bennie was asked about the robotics activities he had a quick response. “I had fun doing the robots and really want to do it again soon. It’s my favorite thing!” said Bennie.


God’s Clover Patch 4-H Club, the Bado Community Church’s Youth group, completed the six-week Gear Tech 21 Camp in Summersville.

With the help of nine adult volunteers, 23 kids over the age of 8, passed through the doors of Bado Community Church, receiving hands on experience in the field of computer science.

“This opportunity has helped further our clubs purpose of raising Godly leaders.  It has been a blessing for our club, our church and our community.” says Sherry Allen, God’s Clover Patch coordinator.  This is only one of the recent programs offered to Bado community’s youth through God’s Clover Patch 4-H Club.


GEAR-Tech-21 teaches robotics, GPS, and GIS technologies through building and programming a robot, navigation, and mapmaking activities. With the help of step-by-step guides and resources, youth were able to build Lego NXT Robots and program them to complete specific challenges.  At these camps, students also learned map skills and experimented with GPS technology using equipment provided by University of Missouri Extension.

“The Gear-Tech 21 Summer Robotics programs were made possible only through the energy, excitement and dedication of volunteers and 4-H leaders. Volunteers make a difference in the lives of youth, if you are unable to volunteer your time, please support 4-H and youth programs through donations and annual monetary commitments,” said Patillo.

The Gear-Tech 21 Robotics program was made possible through a grant from the National Science Foundation.


Missouri 4-H is University of Missouri Extension's youth development program. The 4-H program helps to create opportunities for young people to be valued, contributing members of their community.

Residents of southwest Missouri contact any of these 4-H youth development specialists for  information: Karla Deaver in Lawrence County at (417) 466-3102; Velynda Cameron in Polk County at (417) 326-4916; Bob McNary in Jasper County at (417) 358-2158; Amy Patillo in Howell County at (417) 256-2391; or Jeremy Elliott-Engel in Newton County at (417) 455-9500.


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