Shannon Arnold, associate professor in agricultural education, has won the President’s Award for Excellence in Service Learning. The award recognizes a faculty member and commu- nity partners who use a service learning activity to meet a community need. For this award, Ar- nold will receive $800.
To meet the need for increasing interest among youth in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, Arnold’s students collaborated with county 4-H leaders to design a STEM-based day camp. The goal of the camp was to foster the exploration of knowledge and research in STEM fields.
The camp was successfully held at MSU in 2015, with Arnold’s students teaching workshops to 4-H youth and leaders. Overall results of a post-workshop test showed that youth increased their knowledge, interest and career aspirations in STEM and natural resource concepts as a result of attending the camp. The largest increases were seen in the understanding of STEM concepts, interest in engineering and agriculture, the desire to pursue a career in a STEM- related field and in the awareness that STEM concepts are integrated into agriculture.
In her role as course instructor, Arnold was responsible for the design, collection and analysis of information from 4-H audiences and students. She secured workshop facilities and was re- sponsible for scheduling, student program development assistance, workshop instruction, 4-H participant travel arrangements, development of educational materials and oversight of the student project.
Community partners were Nikki Bailey, Carbon County 4-H; Christina McRae- Holland, Gallatin County 4-H Mentoring Partnership Program Coordinator; Kelton Jensen, Gallatin County 4-H; Lisa Terry, Stillwater County Family and Consumer Science; and other 4-H leaders in Gallatin, Stillwater and Carbon counties.