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Working at CSU

Williams to lead state's 4-H STEM initiative

June 24, 2010

Colorado State University is in sync with President Barack Obama, as he announced a $250 million public/private effort to boost science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education. The initiative seeks to prepare more than 10,000 new teachers over five years and provide professional development opportunities to more than 100,000 teachers statewide. It would effectively double the campaign launched by Obama in November.

High-quality and consistent training to educators

Willa Williams (right) began work on the CSU campus in January as the 4-H youth development specialist in STEM and K-12. Prior to coming to Colorado, Williams worked for Arkansas 4-H as the 4-H STEM instructor. She will be overseeing STEM initiatives statewide.

“I believe the future of STEM will be built around creativity and innovation now that everyone, whether they live in rural or urban areas, can have access to the most current technologies,” says Williams.

Encourage and engage youth

“As we attempt to define worldwide problems such as health or energy conservation, youth will be encouraged to identify and solve real-world problems through hands on learning in and out of school.”

Colorado 4-H youth development already has strong programs in agricultural, family, and consumer sciences.

Build on current successes

“We will continue to support these projects and identify hands-on programs that can build on our current successes,” adds Williams. Both AgFest and Food Quest programs are being developed and implemented to provide hands-on learning opportunities that also create a greater awareness of agriculture.

Developing chemistry cuisine lessons

The STEM initiative is also developing chemistry cuisine lessons that will highlight the creativity and science of food. The ultimate goal is to provide high-quality and consistent training to educators in a diverse assortment of STEM topics that are supported by 4-H, Extension, and Colorado State University.

Originally published in Ag Family, Spring 2010.