UConn 4-H Research

three people sitting at a table

UConn 4-H conducts applied research through our own grants and projects as well as by serving as collaborators and co-PIs on research external to the 4-H team. Examples of UConn 4-H's applied research projects include: 

  • Biotechnology and workforce development: Cohorts of youth are creating biotechnology video games. The games will convey fun and science-based information about biotechnology such as genetic engineering. They will also build public confidence in the safe use of biotechnology in agriculture and the food system. Learn more about this project. 
  • Food development in elementary schools is an ongoing project that uses tower gardens to teach the basics of growing your own and encourage more local food production. Read more. 

UConn 4-H Research Projects

  • Annual Survey Common Measures collects statewide data about the impact of our programs on 4-H youth participants ages 7-19. This ensures that we are providing the best possible programs to youth engaged in UConn 4-H. Learn more about our findings. 
  • The Annual Index Survey is conducted on youth 13-18 who are enrolled in UConn 4-H. This is to measure the impact of UConn 4-H on youth. This survey is being replicated nationwide by 4-H programs in other states. 
  • A grant project created curriculum and laboratory-based professional development for secondary school teachers on genetic engineering. The project aims to build knowledge and confidence of educators and be able to provide them with materials to educate about genetic engineering in their classrooms. High school teachers have the opportunity to attend a training at the Storrs campus where they can use laboratory resources and build connections with industry professionals. Read more. 
  • The Advancing Careers in Agricultural Biotechnology program has cohorts of youth creating biotechnology video games to convey fun and science-based information about topics such as genetic engineering. They are also helping public understanding in the safe use of biotechnology in agriculture and the food system. Youth can attend 4-H experiential lessons, industry field trips and speakers. Learn more at s.uconn.edu/biotech. 
  • The CYFAR Summer Experience at Auerfarm provides education, outreach, and engagement to youth over a multiple weeklong day program. The farm currently houses livestock and has multiple large vegetable and flower gardens, an apple orchard, and a blueberry patch. They have the chance to learn about the farm garden and then take the vegetables into the kitchen to prepare their lunches. The children take away many skills about food safety and how to minimize these risks. There is a CYFAR’s Tools for Healthy Living grant that partners with the program for low-income youth from Hartford.