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Extension > Youth Development > Minnesota 4-H > Urban 4-H STEM Clubs

Urban 4-H STEM Clubs

Igniting youth interest in STEM while preparing them for higher education

Minnesota 4-H Youth Development provides leadership the Minnesota CYFAR Project, which is funded by CYFAR's Sustainable Communities Project (SCP) grant cycle. Led by principal investigator Jennifer Skuza and Extension educator Joanna Tzenis, this project supports Urban 4-H STEM Clubs which provide young people with opportunities to explore STEM topics, imagine their future in higher education and to set and achieve educational goals together with their peers, program leaders and parents or guardians.

boys doing a science project

The CYFAR SCP grant cycle aims to build long-term programs and partnerships with a five-year federal grant.

Youth Development Insight

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See all Urban 4-H STEM Club blog posts

Urban 4-H STEM Clubs program design

Urban 4-H STEM Clubs are intended to ignite middle school aged youths’ interests in learning about Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) while preparing them for higher education. In the clubs, youth solve practical and scientific engineering problems by learning how to ask questions, imagine solutions, plan things out, create new ideas, optimize designs and improve practices. Youth will also engage in a sequence of activities that equip them with the mindset and personal leadership skills needed to pursue higher education and careers. Throughout the program, youth develop a portfolio that captures their growth over time and present it at public showcase events.

Campus Immersion Program

girls at a bowling alley

Each summer youth participate in a University of Minnesota campus immersion where they learn about student life, explore academic interests, identify the steps toward college readiness, and meet faculty and students in STEM fields. 



  • Youth will exhibit growth in knowledge and interest around STEM subjects.
  • Youth will demonstrate growth in critical thinking and decision making skills that form habits that can lead to educational and career success.
  • Parents/guardians will engage with their children on setting and obtaining common education goals.
  • Youth will demonstrate growth in technological literacy.


  • Youth will create a personal plan for higher education and career development related to STEM subjects.
  • The youth programs will be sustained by the community members and community organizational partners.

This project is delivered at two different sites in partnership with Ka Joog, Youthprise and Minneapolis Community Education.

Ka Joog

4-H is working in partnership with Ka Joog and Youthprise to deliver community 4-H clubs at Ka Joog’s Eden Prairie and St. Paul sites.

Northeast Middle School

Minneapolis Community Education and 4-H are partnering to deliver an afterschool STEM Club at Northeast Middle School.

4-H opens new doors

Source magazine

Youth across Minnesota, from families who have been a part of Extension 4-H for generations to first-generation 4-H'ers, are engaging in 4-H in new and vibrant ways. Today, 4-H programs are as diverse as the interests of the youth they serve. More

Rethinking Program Sustainability

Jennifer Skuza and Joanna Tzenis

Demonstrates, using program theory, how the previous round of CYFAR programs were sustained in their communities. More

Impact reports

2011 Impact Report

2010 Impact Report

2009 Impact Report

Request a paper copy


Jennifer Skuza, PhD. 1-612-624-7798

Joanna Tzenis 1-612-625-9771

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