SC State 1890 Extension Pee Dee Hosts National 4-H STEM Challenge

Youth in the Pee Dee Region joined other youth from across the country to take part in the National 4-H STEM Challenge, formerly known as 4-H National Youth Science Day (4-H NYSD). The SC State University 1890 Extension Pee Dee Region, as part of its 4-H Youth Development Program, invited families in Chesterfield, Dillon, Florence and Marlboro counties to participate in the national STEM challenge Mars Base Camp, which featured a virtual mission to Mars. The challenge occurred throughout the month of October.


Braylon McRae works to build a rover that will navigate on the rough surface of Mars.

“1890 Extension and the nation’s land-grant universities are perfectly positioned to develop research-backed curriculum and activities that help young people learn in creative ways. These activities, such as Mars Base Camp, inspire kids to get hands-on experience and think about some big problems that top scientists and engineers are exploring now,” said Kinda McInnis, 4-H youth development extension agent.

As part of the STEM Challenge, youth participated in four Mars Base Camp activities including Landing Zone Surveyor, Red Planet Odyssey, Crop Curiosity and Insight from Mars. Youth also had the opportunity to build a battery-operated rover, launch a parachute onto the planet’s surface and participate in an optional computer coding story about Mars. All participating youth took part in one or multiple activities as part of the challenge.

The National 4‑H STEM Challenge is an annual initiative designed to expose youth to STEM through hands-on learning.

For more information on this event or services offered by SC State 1890 Extension Pee Dee Region, contact Kinda McInnis, 4-H youth development agent, at 843.456.5174 or by e-mail kmc