STEM and Cloverbuds

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) activities have a large impact on children. STEM focuses on hands-on learning which helps children develop STEM skills including problem solving, critical thinking, creativity, curiosity, decision making, and many more. It is never to early to teach these skills which are important not only now, but in the future. Try this STEM activity at your next meeting!

Important Information to consider before doing this activity.

  • Neodymium magnets are extremely strong! Fingers can easily get pinched when trying to separate the magnets. Be sure to keep the magnets away from cell phones, computer, and other electronics.
  • Iron oxide powder is not good to breathe. Therefore, the iron is mixed in with the glue.  Wear a mask when working with this powder.
  • Iron oxide powder is available from a variety of online sources.
  • Neodymium magnets are available from a variety of online sources.

                                   Magnetic Slime

You will need:

  • Liquid starch
  • Elmer’s glue
  • Iron Oxide powder (wear a mask)
  • Mixing bowl
  • Plastic spoons
  • ¼ Cup for measuring
  • 1 Tablespoon for measuring
  • 1/8 cup for measuring
  • A neodymium (rare earth) magnet, regular magnets aren’t strong enough

What to do:

  • In a mixing bowl add ¼ cup glue and 2 Tbsp iron oxide powder. Stir.
  • Pour in 1/8 cup liquid starch.
  • Stir the mixture well, the starch will react with the glue and slime will form.
  • Use your hands to knead the slime. If it is too sticky add more starch.
  • Use your magnet and play with the slime.

Ohio 4-H Cloverbud Engineering Adventure

The Ohio 4-H Cloverbud Engineering Adventure (formerly known as Cloverbot Challenge) gives 4-H Cloverbuds the opportunity to work cooperatively in teams to problem-solve using STEM (science, engineering, technology and math) skills. A new theme is selected each year and teams research a topic, build a working model of their solution to the engineering issue and create a poster to illustrate their findings. Teams present their models and findings to a team of reviewers at one of the Showcase events, learn about other Cloverbuds’ projects, participate in age-appropriate STEM activities and are recognized at a closing celebration. Watch this short video to learn more about the Cloverbud Engineering Adventure:

The 2023 Challenge – Think backward or forward in time about something that interests the team. Design a model that includes moving parts or a simple machine. Your model could be a timeline, a time machine, a specific thing from a different time period (like a horse and buggy or futuristic vehicle). Here are the details! 2023 Cloverbud Engineering Adventure

Time travel has been a fascination for people over the years. Movies like Back to the Future or The Terminator have characters who travel through time. H. G. Wells 1895 novel, The Time Machine, made the idea of a time machine popular. The main characters in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure spend the movie learning about historical figures for a history report. Time travel has allowed characters in books and movies to interact with interesting people and events of the past or dream about the future. Exploring time travel is a great way for your Cloverbuds to connect with the past or imagine the future.

Choose the location for your team to attend a Showcase:

  • June 14 at 6:30 pm, Greene County Extension Office, Xenia
  • June 22 at 6:30 pm, Washington County Junior Fair Building, Marietta
  • June 24 at 10:00 am, Nationwide & Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center, Columbus
  • June 27 at 7:00 pm, Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds, Middleburg Heights
  • June 29 at 5:00 pm, Perry County Fairgrounds, New Lexington

Cloverbud Volunteers must register teams by Friday, April 14, 2023 at: