Fall Chick Quest Project

This fall, students at Pleasant Hill Academy and Hyde Park Elementary are incubating chicken eggs. The project is a part of OSU Extensions Chick Quest and 4-H Agri-Science in the City. With the help and support of several classroom teachers, in 3 weeks students will welcome the new baby chickens.

Check out the slideshow below to see how a chick develops inside the egg.

What’s on the horizon for 4-H Agri-Science in the City


Students can learn by reading, watching or doing. You cannot downplay the value of learning to acquire knowledge independently but, learning in groups and experiential learning are equally as valuable. Students who engage in project based learning develop a greater appreciation of fellow students from different social, ethnic and cultural backgrounds, [1] seek higher-level instructional feedback and develop higher level questioning strategies. Teachers learn to identify how to integrate content into more subject areas, better facilitate student discussion, and assist in student self-assessment.[2] Additionally, students perform better on assessments as measured by pre and post-tests.[3]

Project based learning is the foundational approach of all 4-H programs. 4-H is “delivered by Cooperative Extension—a community of more than 100 public universities across the nation that provides experiences where young people learn by doing. Kids complete hands-on projects in areas like health, science, agriculture, and citizenship, in a positive environment where they receive guidance from adult mentors and are encouraged to take on proactive leadership roles. Kids experience 4‑H in every county and parish in the country—through in-school and after-school programs, school and community clubs and 4‑H camps.”[4]

The 4-H Agri-Science in the City program is offered during the school day to the students at Pleasant Hill through a cooperative agreement between Ohio State University Extension and Cincinnati Public Schools. Capitalizing on the Vision 2020 approach and the Environmental Science designation, students at PHA have access hundreds of self-directed projects that they can complete for our annual judging competition, in the spring. Every student who enters a project is automatically registered as a 4-H member. This gives them access to college scholarships, summer camp programs, and state wide leadership opportunities.

Additional sites for 2017-2018 include Rothenberg Preparatory Academy, John P Parker Elementary School, and Silverton Paideia Academy. Each of these sites will receive resources and periodic visits from the program manager.

Project judging is a common element for 4-H youth but is a new component to 4-H Agri-Science in the City. In January students will have an opportunity to select a project to complete in cooperation with the classroom teacher or independently at home. Examples of classroom projects include “Chick Quest”, “Rockets Away” or “Wired Up”. Students will work on their projects’ throughout the winter. Then, in May students will attend a 4-H Project Expo at the school. All students in grades 3-6 will be judged and receive placements while students in PK-2 will receive recognition and feedback for their efforts. All students’ projects will be displayed at the Hamilton County Fair, with their permission.

One of the greatest benefits of 4-H is an appreciation for self-directed education. Students, with guidance, find that spark within themselves to seek out more information in an effort to be the best that they can and produce the best project they can.

[1] (Kaldi, 2011)

[2] (Miro, 2011)

[3] (Christopher J. Harris, 2015)

[4] (4-H, 2017)

Annual Report

Want to catch up on 4-H Agri-Science in the City? Check out our annual report below.

To view the report in full screen, click on the square in the middle of the image. You will be able to zoom in by double clicking on the images in the document.

Having trouble viewing the document above, click here to download the PDF or click on the image below.

2016-2017 Annual Report

Link to Annual Report

Students holding a baby chick.


Reptiles with Cincinnati Parks Nature Next Door Camp

4-H Agri-Science in the City is excited to again work with the Cincinnati Parks, Nature Next Door camp to provide instruction to youth in four communities this summer. This season students will learn about reptiles and their habitats. Specifically, the youth will learn about Ohio Reptiles.

To see what students are learning, check out this video and try your hand at a few reptile related questions.



4-H at Rothenberg, a Success.

This summer students participating in the Imani afterschool program at Rothenberg Preparatory Academy were invited to be 4-H members for the month and explore the world of agriculture through cultural lenses. Student groups were each assigned a country, Mexico, Nigeria or India and each picked a food to study. Students learned about black eyed peas, cucumbers, and tomatoes.

As a culminating project, students were expected to create posters outlining what they learned about the food they studied. The 24 students in grades K-6 were able to demonstrate their knowledge and highlight the interesting facts that will certainly stay with them for a lifetime.

Check out the video below for a glimpse of what they learned.


The weather was cool and the day filled with excitement. On April 21st 4-H students from Pleasant Hill Academy participated in their first Global Youth Service Day. The project was designed to benefit the local community garden used by the College Hill Gardeners and the school. The audacious project involved over 200 students which culminated in the building of an octagon shaped garden bed and the planting of a bean tepee.

The preschool, kindergarten and first-grade students helped weed the water the garden space in preparation for the spring. The second and third-grade students helped plant seeds and plants in the raised garden beds. Then the fourth, fifth and sixth graders helped cut, design and build an octagon shaped bed to stand as a centerpiece of the garden.

The students at Pleasant Hill Academy, a Cincinnati Public School, are part of an environmental science program which lends itself well to the 4-H projects. Throughout the year, as a part of their typical curriculum, students learn about the natural world.

The project was sponsored by Serve Ohio as part of their initiative to engage more youth in Global Youth Service Day.

It was a pleasure to work with the students as they learned how to (under supervision) use a saw to cut wood and calculate the angles for the octagon bed.

In cooperation with the school, students also planted 7 commemorative trees on the property and engaged in a series of earth related activities designed to provide the students with a stronger connection to the natural world. Students were also given trees to take home and plant on their own.

4-H Agri-Science in the City is looking forward to working on more projects like this with the youth.

Serve Ohio (Ohio Commission on Service and Volunteerism)

Serve Ohio (Ohio Commission on Service and Volunteerism)

Test your Knowledge

4-H Agri-Science in the City Youth are often asked to provide feedback about what they have learned and if what they have learned has helped them develop a stronger understanding of age appropriate scientific concepts.

In an effort to streamline that process and connect environmental science to the mediums that are familiar to your youth, 4-H and environmental educators are working together to build a treasure trunk of resources to support youth.

Here is one of the first engagement tools. The online quiz is set up like a trivia game that youth can play independently or teachers can use in a classroom setting.  Check it out, give it a try and provide feedback below.


Special Thanks to our contributors:

Mary Dudley of the Civic Garden Center of Greater Cincinnati

Rebecca Supinger of OSU Extension, Greene County and

The Teachers at Pleaseant Hill Academy.

Laughter Erupted

By: Tony Staubach, Program Manager, 4-H Youth Development

Laughter and joy erupted at Pleasant Hill Academy in College Hill on Wednesday as the 6th grade launched rockets and the 4th grade experimented with a banana piano.

Since September youth in 4th, 5th and 6th grade at Pleasant Hill have participated in 4-H Agri-Science in the City as an integrated part of their school day.

For several weeks, the 6th grade students have been working with 4-H Agri-Science in the City Program Manager, Tony Staubach to learn about force and motion in anticipation for their rocket launch.  The students were tasked with designing, building and evaluating the success of their rockets, which were constructed out of used 2-liter bottles, duct-tape and cardboard.

The 4-H excitement continued throughout the day as the 4th grade students began learning about electric circuits by creating a banana piano. The students were initially puzzled by the engagement exercise but became fast experts on electrical conductivity as well as the role insulators in an electric circuit.

Although 4-H Agri-Science in the City is new addition to Pleasant Hill Academy, the teachers and students have taken to the program like fish take to water. Pleasant Hill was designated the first Environmental Science School as part of the Cincinnati Public Schools Vision 2020 initiative.

Although the rocket launch is over, there is still a lot of excitement around the corner.  In April students at Pleasant Hill Academy, in addition to Rothenberg Preparatory Academy and Silverton Paideia, will hatch chicken eggs as part of the annual Chick Quest program. Hatched chicks will stay at the school for one week before finding homes with local growers.

Since 1902 youth in communities both urban and rural have joined the 4-H positive youth development program to engage in project based learning and leadership development. 4-H Agri-Science in the City was created in 2014 by Ohio State University Extension, thanks to the support of State Representative Jim Buchy, to help expanded access to food, agriculture and environmental science education to youth in urban communities.





Famous Scientists and Innovators in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math for Black History Month

Are you looking for information about famous scientists and innovators in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math for Black History Month?  Students from our 4-H Agri-Science in the City clubs learn annually about the impacts made during Black History Month.

Check out just a few of our highlighted leaders.

For the entire presentation click here.

Patricia Bath (November 4, 1942)
Among many firsts, Patricia Bath is the first African American to complete a residency in ophthalmology and the first African-American
female doctor to receive a medical patent. She invented the Laserphaco Probe for cataract treatment in 1986.

Prof. Samuel Massie Jr. (July 3, 1919 – April 10, 2005)
An organic chemist who was the first African American to teach at the U.S. Naval Academy.

Marie M. Daly (April 16, 1921- October 28, 2003)
Marie M. Daly is best known for being the first African-American woman to receive a Ph.D. in chemistry in the United States.

Philip Emeagwali (born August 23, 1954)
Nigerian-born scientist and inventor known for first using a Connection Machine supercomputer to help analyze petroleum fields.

Benjamin Banneker (November 9, 1731 – October 9, 1806)
African American astronomer, mathematician and author who constructed America’s first functional clock.

Regina Benjamin (October 26, 1956)
Physician Regina Benjamin worked as the 18th U.S. surgeon general, appointed by President Barack Obama in 2009.

Percy Lavon Julian (April 11, 1899 – April 19, 1975)
African American researcher known for being a pioneer in the chemical synthesis of medicinal drugs from plants.

Madam C J Walker (December 23, 1867- May 25, 1919)
Madam C.J. Walker, born Sarah Breedlove, created specialized hair products for African-American hair and was one of the first American
women to become a self-made millionaire.

Norbert Rillieux (March 17, 1806 – October 8, 1894)
American inventor and engineer, best remembered for his invention of the multiple-effect evaporator.

Charles Drew (June 3, 1904 – April 1, 1950)
American physician, surgeon and medical researcher known as the inventor of the blood bank.

Mae C. Jemison (October 17, 1956)
Mae C. Jemison is the first African-American female astronaut. In 1992, she flew into space aboard the Endeavour, becoming the first
African-American woman in space.

James West (born February 10, 1931)
African-American inventor who developed the “mic” in the 1960s; holds 47 U.S. and more than 200 foreign patents on microphones and techniques for making polymer foil-electrets.

Mary Mahoney (May 7, 1845- January 4, 1926)
Mary Mahoney became the first black woman to complete nurse’s training in 1879.

George Washington Carver (January 1864 – January 5, 1943)
American scientist and inventor and an extraordinary explorer and innovator of agricultural science.

Dr. Daniel Hale Williams (January 18, 1858 – August 4, 1931)
African American physician who performed the first prototype open-heart surgery.

Mary Styles Harris (June 26, 1949)
Distinguished American health researcher Mary Styles Harris has gained national attention for her work and influence on
national health policies.

Garrett Morgan (March 4, 1877 – August 27, 1963)
African American inventor who made both the first traffic signal invention and the first patented gas mask.

Alexa Canady (November 7, 1950)
In 1981, Alexa Canady became the first female African-American neurosurgeon in the United States.

Ernest Everett Just (August 14, 1883 – October 27, 1941)
African American biologist and author known for his work on egg fertilization and the structure of the cell.

Emmett Chappelle (born October 25, 1925)
African American scientist and researcher and a recipient of 14 U.S. patents, who discovered that a particular combination of chemicals
caused all living organisms to emit light.

Nia Wordlaw
“My mom came home one day with an article from 1922 about Bessie Coleman. [That] was my first mentor: an article about [the first]
black female pilot,” says Wordlaw, a pilot for United Airlines—one of very few female African- Americans to fly for a major carrier. “It
makes a difference to see someone who looks like you doing something that you want to do.“

For the entire presentation click here.

4-H Agri-Science in the City Showing Good Results at Pleasant Hill Academy

By: Tony Staubach, Program Manager, 4-H Youth Development


Pine Cone

Student shows off pine cones they found in the forest.

Beginning in March, 2014 Cincinnati Public School’s Rothenberg Preparatory Academy participated in the pilot 4-H Agri-Science in the City program with OSU Extension. The pilot was successful in introducing students to Agri-Science and through a partnership with the Rothenberg Rooftop School Garden offered a daily enrichment program for all students.


In August, 2016 OSU Extension, 4-H Agri-Science in the City moved their school-based program to Pleasant Hill Academy to come into alignment with Cincinnati Public Schools Vision 2020. Pleasant Hill was identified as the initial Environmental Sciences School. The first few months of the program have been successful in again introducing students to environmental sciences but also to helping them understand their connection to the food system.

It is important to ensure that youth have access to healthy food throughout their day and that they are equipped with the skills necessary to strengthen our food system as they grow older. 4-H Agri-Science in the City works to ensure that youth are empowered and educated to meet the diverse needs that exist in their future.

Food is the third greatest expense for the typical American household. Approximately 13% of the average budget is consumed by food. [1] Consequently, 12.7% of US households are food-insecure, 7.7% of those households classify as having low food security and 5% classify as having very low food security. Ohio ranks above the national average in food insecurity. [2] Families and children struggling with food insecurity often reach out to assistance programs.  This means that 16 million children, or one in five, receive food assistance nationwide.[3] According to the National Center for Children in Poverty, 50% of children under 6 and 41% of children 6 or older are classified as low income.[4]

Approximately 280 students from Pleasant Hill have received 75 hours of instruction focused on agriculture and the food system.  With a move to a new school, the 2016-2017 goal for 4-H Agri-Science in the City is to ensure that every student is included in agriculture education in some capacity by the end of the school year.  Additionally, the hope is to maintain the afterschool 4-H Club at Rothenberg Preparatory Academy and add two new clubs to the roster, one at Pleasant Hill and one at Silverton Paideia.

Of the students involved, data collected has identified current strengths and areas for continued education.  All students surveyed understood how and why the physical properties of water change and nearly all students were familiar with the seasons and why seasons occur.  However, students continue to need education around the food web and the importance of soil in food production. This data is not shocking because youth in urban environments have often lacked access to agricultural and food system education and continues to identify the need for more programs like 4-H Agri-Science in the City.

Thanks to the generous legislative support of Rep. Jim Buchy, 4-H Agri-Science in the City has been able to provide transformative experiences to all of the students served and looks forward to more success in the future.

To view the full report, click here.


Student showing off a captured insect.

[1] (USDA, 2014)

[2] (Alisha Coleman-Jensen, 2016)

[3] (United States Census Bureau, 2015)

[4] (National Center for Children in Poverty, 2016)