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,  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. Additionally, students perform better on assessments as measured by pre and post-tests.
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.”
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.
 (Kaldi, 2011)
 (Miro, 2011)
 (Christopher J. Harris, 2015)
 (4-H, 2017)