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'Galactic Quest' program helps kids learn STEM over winter break

Posted at 3:09 PM, Jan 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-12 16:09:59-05

LINCOLN, Neb. (KMTV) — 11 UNL students spent their winter break teaching science to a group of students ranging from kindergarten to eighth grade.

This “winternship” was backed by a 4-H science program called “Galactic Quest." It was a half-day program that offered 12 sites spanning across eastern Nebraska from Dec. 27 through Jan. 4.

This program is the latest step put forward by a partnership between 4-H and the University Honor Program to give children after-school learning opportunities.

Previous efforts included around 70 Husker students serving as mentors for the Huskers After-School and Summer Learning Opportunities program during summer 2021.

“The initiatives serve a two-fold goal for 4-H,” said Tracy Pracheil, a 4-H youth development extension educator who helps coordinate the program. “They bring science, technology, engineering, and math education to students outside the school setting and in their communities; and they expose youth to “near peers” who can serve as influential role models.”

The interns were paid through CARES Act funding obtained by Beyond School Bells, which is a statewide public-private partnership affiliated with the Nebraska Children and Families Foundation.

“The kids are super funny and fun to work with,” said honors student Brisa Rios, sophomore psychology and sociology major.

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