4-H Science Labs

Dear Educator:

The Walworth County 4-H Youth Development program is pleased to offer fun, hands-on, science-based enrichment labs to complement your existing classroom activities. Explore 8 engaging opportunities!

First:  Call 262-741-4959 or email deborah.harris@wisc.edu to schedule (unless otherwise noted)

Next:  Have two or three dates in mind when you call. Please try to coordinate dates if multiple classrooms in your building are interested in the same program

Finally: Once dates are confirmed, complete the 2023 4-H Science Lab Registration Form. Mail, email, or fax it in. You will receive an INVOICE – please do not send payment with registration.

Eggsploring Incubation
Ready, Set, Dough!
Owl Encounter
Reduced to a Pulp
From Dirty Water to Drinking Water
On the Technology Trail
Wonders of Wildlife
Scientists Live

A limited number of programs can be scheduled due to staff availability.  Questions? Please ask!

Debbie Harris
4-H Youth Development Educator
UW-Madison Professor of Practice
deborah.harris@wisc.edu 262/741-4959
Walworth County Extension
100 W Walworth Street, POB 1001
Elkhorn, WI 53121

Eggsploring Incubation
Grades K-12

2023 Program Dates:
April 11- May 5 for chicks

April 11-May 12 for ducklings 
Limit:  6 classrooms to hatch ducklings

Experience the miracle of life hands-on.  During this 3-4 week program, you and your class will receive all of the supplies  necessary to incubate, hatch, and care for baby birds. Sign up for access to fun lesson ideas, posters, and more. Automatic turners come with the incubators to make your job easier over the weekends. The Extension Office arranges homes for your babies, and help is always just a phone call away.

Cost per classroom is $25 for chicks and $35 for ducklings.  Eggs will arrive April 11. Limit: one 4-H incubator per classroom.  If you plan to use your own incubator, be prepared to tell how many eggs it holds when you call to sign up. 

Registration deadline is March 21 at 9 a.m. or when equipment is all spoken for— whichever comes first. Be aware that equipment is limited and registrations will be accepted on a first call, first reserve basis.

Follow registration steps listed at top of this page.

Please realize that hatches are NOT guaranteed, and refunds won’t be made for eggs that don’t hatch. 

Ready, Set, Dough!
Grades 1-5

Students will mix and knead from the perspective of scientists as they learn how ingredients are combined in the kitchen “laboratory” to create loaves of bread to share with their families! 

The role of each ingredient is discussed, and teamwork is emphasized.  Students’ loaves are returned to your classroom the day after your program, baked and packaged for travel.

Time required is 90-minutes, not including student handwashing time before and after.

Register following the steps listed above.

Cost is $2 per student.  Up to two classrooms can be accommodated per day — one before lunch and one right after.  No Fridays, please, unless your classroom can bake its own bread at the school. 

Two or three long rectangular tables placed end to end work best as a work space.  Available year round. 

Owl Encounter
Grades 2-6

Barn owls: intriguing predators and can be studied with relevance almost everywhere in the world.  

This 60-minute program will provide your students with basic facts about barn owl life, their predatory adaptations, their eating habits, and the amazing things we can learn from the pellets they produce.

Following the fast-paced lesson, students will work individually to dissect owl pellets and identify the discoveries within.

Follow registration steps listed at top of this page.

Cost is $2.00 per student.  Live owls are NOT a part of this presentation.  Available year round.

Reduced to a Pulp
Grades 3-6

The average American consumes the equivalent of seven trees in paper, wood, and other products each year, amounting to 2 billion trees per year nationally.

This 60-minute lab, led by Extension educators, will consider:
– goods and services made possible by trees
– process by which trees are converted into paper
– the ease and benefits of paper recycling.

Students will work in pairs to construct their own recycling mills and recycle paper right in their classrooms.

Each student takes home their own piece of recycled paper.

Cost is $20 per classroom. Please follow registration steps listed at top of this page.

Students will work as partners and require a flat work space.   Available year round.

From Dirty Water to Drinking Water
Grades 3-5

Water is one of our planet’s most precious limited resources.  As such, Mother Nature has concocted a way to clean up the water we dirty, so we can use it over and over.  Her strategy is so solid, man mimics it at water treatment facilities. 

During this 50-minute lesson, students will consider where drinking water comes from and how the water we send down the drain gets cleaned up.

  In the process, they’ll create simple filtration systems and clean dirty water. 

Cost is $20 per classroom. Register following the steps listed above.

Students will work in pairs and require a flat work space.  Available year round.

On the Technology Trail
Grades 4-8

Using basic GPS skills, students will track down clues at numerous way points to solve a puzzle during a geocaching challenge course. 

This program by Extension educators can be taught as two-45 minute sessions or one 90-minute session. 

Part 1 of this lesson introduces students to GPS, its real world applications, and provides instruction for using simple handheld navigational receivers.  Part 2 includes a quick review and the challenge course. 

All materials, including prizes, are provided. Register following the steps listed above.

Cost is $30 total per classroom.  Available mid-April through mid-November.

Wonders of Wildlife
Grades K-8

For this program, schedule by contacting 4-H Natural Science Key Leader, Kathy Tober:  262-642-5857.

A 50-60 minute presentation of fascinating facts about Wisconsin wildlife and unexpected historical connections between wildlife and agriculture.  Presentations are tailored to audience age.  Typical presentations include student interactions with a variety of artifacts including furs, skulls, and antlers. Once scheduled with Kathy, please submit the 2023 4-H Science Lab Registration Form and we will invoice you.

Cost is $15 per classroom.  Available year round.

Scientists Live
Grades 8 thru one year post high school

This informal virtual careers series was created to help teens learn about science-related career options quickly and easily.  Each of the 37 recorded episodes consists of a short 15-20-minute presentation given by a featured “scientist,” followed by a 10-15-minute Q & A session during which live participants could ask questions.   Sessions were recorded live in 2020, 2021, and 2022. 

Use this LINK to access ALL 37 episodes and a “reflection guide” handout.  Access is FREE.

Some of the careers included are: Aerospace Engineer ▪ Architect ▪ Artist ▪ Astronomer ▪ Biologist/Epidemiologist ▪  Biotechnology Specialist ▪ Cabinetmaker ▪  Chemical Biologist ▪ Dairy Animal Scientist ▪ Ecologist/Microbiologist ▪ Electrical Engeer/Electric Motor Reseracher ▪ Electrician ▪ Extension Livestock Specialist  ▪ Extension Poultry Specialist ▪ Forensic Anthropologist ▪ Geneticist/Astrobiologist ▪ Greenhouse Manager ▪ Marine Biologist ▪  Materials Scientist ▪ Mechanical Engineer ▪ Medical Researcher ▪ Neurological Clinical Specialist ▪ Product Development Technologist ▪ Science Outreach Coordinator ▪ Science Outreach Specialist ▪ Shoreland & Land Use Specialist ▪  Veterinarian.

Access recordings at:

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