4-H STEM Ambassadors Connect Maine Youth to Campus

4-H STEM Ambassadors are trained University of Maine students who facilitate hands-on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) activities with youth 8–14 years old throughout Maine. Through 4-H STEM Ambassadors, youth become connected to the research, resources, and scientists at Maine’s public universities. Before 4-H STEM Ambassadors work with children, they complete hands-on training to understand how to work with and keep youth safe, as well as how to facilitate inquiry-based STEM activities.

All students who work with youth in the community as a 4-H STEM Ambassador will earn Micro-Credentials from the University of Maine System (UMS).

What is a micro-credential?

A micro-credential is a verified credential earned when learners demonstrate what they know and are able to do related to a specific area of study. They show their understanding through evidence and application. Micro-credentials are made up of stacked digital badges along a pathway that highlight the skills needed to be successful.

What are UMS micro-credentials?

Each UMS micro-credential is designed to take a learner from foundational knowledge and rigorous training, to application in a real-world work-setting. You can earn three levels of badges taking you from foundational learning to application of that learning. When you earn the final stacked macro-badge in your pathway you have earned the UMS micro-credential.

Why should I earn an UMS micro-credential?

86% of hiring managers indicate that it is “very important” that recent graduates demonstrate the ability to apply knowledge and skills in real-world settings and only 39% think recent graduates are well-prepared to apply skills in real-world settings. Hart Research Associates. Fulfilling the American Dream: Liberal Education and the Future of Work (Washington, D.C.: AAC&U, 2018)

  • Obtain a valued UMS credential
  • Makes your competencies visible, beyond what is seen on a transcript or resume
  • Demonstrate skills in real-world settings
  • Upskill for greater marketability
  • Gain work experience and received valuable performance feedback
  • Differentiate yourself and stand out to employers
  • Better articulate the skills you developed to potential employers
  • Enhances your digital identity
  • Share your badges and be recognized!

All badges can be shared on social media and professional sites, such as LinkedIn as well as on your website, e-portfolio or resume!

For more information, contact Laura Wilson at laura.wilson@maine.edu or 207.581.2971 for more information.

Testimonials

The 4-H program is awesome. I’m having a great time helping the kids learn. It’s a good way to spend my Mondays.”

— Hannah, STEM Ambassador

What a great experience it was to work with those kids over these last few weeks. I’m so glad to have had the opportunity to share some of my knowledge and passion with them.

— Jordan, STEM Ambassador

It was our pleasure to host (STEM Ambassadors) Ben and Jordan. They were incredibly professional, caring and invested. The students clearly bonded with them very quickly and gained a lot from the work.

— LearningWorks Afterschool, host site

The program has really added value to what we are trying to accomplish with these kids. They are able to see someone closer to their own age, doing science and math and making it fun. It is also helped us feel closer to our local university.

— Portland afterschool program staff

UMaine Extension 4-H STEM Staff

For more information about the 4-H STEM Ambassadors Program contact Sarah Sparks at 207.353.5550 or sarah.sparks@maine.edu.


4-H youth development staff have been working with campuses in the University of Maine System to expand the STEM Ambassadors’ program throughout the state. Currently, six UMS campuses are partners in this program to bring hands-on STEM education to young people in their community.

 

logos of participating campuses: The University of Maine Cooperative Extension 4-H; University of Maine Farmington; University of Southern Maine; University of Maine at Preque Isle (North of Ordinary); University of Maine at Machias (Naturally!); University of Maine at Augusta