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Digital Badge: Rockets to the Rescue! is a Course

Digital Badge: Rockets to the Rescue!

Ended Nov 30, 2014

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Full course description

Starts September 22, 2014

In October 2014, millions of young people across the nation—like you—will become scientists for the day during the seventh annual 4-H National Youth Science Day (NYSD).

NYSD is the premiere national rallying event for 4-H Science year-round programming. It brings together thousands of youth, volunteers and educators from the nation’s 109 land-grant colleges and universities to simultaneously complete the National Science Experiment.

The 2014 National Science Experiment, Rockets to the Rescue, provides the opportunity to explore firsthand how aerospace engineering can be used to solve real world challenges—such as food distribution in emergency situations—to make a positive impact in our world.

The 2014 NYSD experiment is an offline activity that is typically conducted by a 4-H club, school group, or any other youth group. Guidelines for the activity can be obtained in the course. The activity is an experiment that requires creativity and imagination in solving a problem. The problem presented is how to move food and supplies in an emergency situation to where they are needed. The exercise leads to utilizing aerospace engineering to design a solution. And the solution is, Rockets to the Rescue!

The group will divide into teams that will work through an engineering design process in developing the solution. Each team's Challenge will be to design, build and test a propulsion system and prototype Food Transportation Device (FTD) that can accurately deliver its food payload to a specific target. The team will then test their launch system and FTD. Launch data will be recorded.

To earn the 2014 NYSD Rockets to the Rescue Digital Badge, each individual member of the group will register with the course and respond to a brief survey. Upon completion of the survey the digital badge will be issued.

To learn more about digital badges in 4-H and the 2014 NYSD experiment please visit the For Youth, For Life Learning Network.

John A. (Tony) Cook, Ed.D.

John A. (Tony) Cook, Ed.D.


A long time leader in science & technology education in the 4-H Youth Development program in Alabama and throughout the country, Dr. Cook is based at Auburn University. He obtained his B.S. and M.S. degrees at Mississippi State University and his Ed.D. at Auburn University. Starting his work in 4-H in 1980, Dr. Cook has partnered with numerous organizations in support of aerospace education and, more broadly, science & technology literacy. Additionally, Dr. Cook currently provides leadership to the For Youth, For Life Learning Network and Community of Practice of eXtension. You can contact Dr. Cook at

Pat Boyes

Pat Boyes


Pat Boyes is the Director of the Washington State University 4-H Youth Development Program. Building the capacity of youth to become citizen scientists is exciting fundamental work of the 4-H Program. From the earliest days, with its canning and corn clubs, 4-H championed the leading edge of scientific inquiry. And 112 years later, 4-H continues to lead in engaging young people with the excitement of science. Pat’s life mission continues to be to change the world and she chooses to make that change one young life at a time. Her commitment to 4-H found its roots in her own experiences as a 4-H’er in Washington State, with projects that ranged from dairy and horse to leadership and public speaking. Both her undergraduate (Animal Sciences/Reproductive Physiology/Nutrition) and graduate degree (Adult and Continuing Education) are from WSU. After teaching at a community college for two years, Pat joined the faculty of WSU first as a regional animal science specialist, later as a county director and for the past 21 years as the administrator for the statewide 4-H Program.

Kirk Astroth


Dr. Kirk A. Astroth is a Professor in the Norton School of Family & Consumer Sciences, and Assistant Dean & Director of Arizona 4-H at the University of Arizona in Tucson. Dr. Astroth has worked for YMCA as a camp counselor, served as a youth crew leader in the Model Cities/Neighborhood Youth Corps, taught school in Tucson for 4 years at Green Fields, and for the past 30+ years has been a national leader with 4-H with Cooperative Extension Services in Kansas, Utah, Montana and now Arizona. In 1989, Kirk received the 174th “Thousand Points of Light” Award from President George H.W. Bush for his award-winning curriculum called 4-H CARES to prevent youth drug use. In 1994 and 1995, Kirk worked as a volunteer to re-establish 4-H programs in the former Soviet Union states of Latvia and Lithuania. Astroth recently returned from a youth development project in Nepal sponsored by US AID and the Winrock Foundation. Dr. Astroth served as one of 5 members of the Montana Governor’s team to the Presidents’ Summit for America’s Future in Philadelphia in 1997 and was the director of Montana’s “Promise Fellows” program for 2 years. He also served on the Governor’s staff to organize Montana’s Governors’ Summit for the Future in 1998 at which all 5 living former governors attended.

Dr. Astroth is the author of numerous articles on at-risk youth and prevention, including I’m OK, You’re At Risk and Beyond Resiliency: Fostering Vibrancy in Youth Groups. In addition, Astroth has created several award-winning prevention education programs. Dr. Astroth has served as president of the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents, president and editorial chair for the Journal of Extension, president of the Joint Council of Extension Professionals, chair of the Montana Children’s Trust Fund and chair of the Montana Interagency Coordinating Council for Prevention. Kirk currently serves on the Arizona Governor’s Advisory Committee for the County Fairs, Livestock and Agricultural Promotion Fund. Kirk is also director of both an AmeriCorps and an AmeriCorps*VISTA project which has added 32 new positions to Arizona Cooperative Extension.

Kirk and his wife are parents of an adopted daughter from China who is currently a senior at Canyon del Oro High School in Oro Valley, Arizona.