4-H STEM Leaders Given Award


Editor
4-H STEM Leaders Given Award

Aric and Danell Mackey, a married couple in Port Townsend, were honored with 4-H Leaders of the Year awards at the Jefferson County Fair. Their efforts in positive youth development in robotics, photography, enrichment programs, and fundraising throughout the county made waves this year in 4-H.

The Mackeys are newcomers to 4-H, entering into their 3rd year in the positive youth development program. 4-H has a long history as a livestock and agriculture program, but Aric and Danell Mackey were eager to take it into the areas of science and technology in Jefferson County.

The couple also founded the NW Discovery Lab in Jefferson County two years ago, which hosts workshops, classes, and labs for youth on the Olympic Peninsula. They created the non-profit to create more opportunities for their three sons, who are now 12, 10, and 7 years old.

Their accomplishments in 2018 include:

  • The creation of Windward School, an affordable daytime enrichment program operating at Fort Worden and Dungeness, which provides science and arts education to children 5-12. Windward School is a partnership of NW Discovery Lab and 4-H.
  • Leading the 4-H Howling Chickens FIRST LEGO League team to the Semifinals in Seattle, where students 9-14 years old engage in robotics, research, engineering, and teamwork.
  • Spearheading a “Girls in STEM Initiative” for the NW Discovery Lab and its partnered 4-H programs, which requires all NW Discovery Lab programs to foster avenues for girls to be included in STEM opportunities, bring female science mentors in to illustrate women’s roles in science, and/or highlight female accomplishments in STEM.
  • Providing opportunities for youth photographers to work on their art and techniques, with access to quality digital cameras and professional equipment.
  • Coordinating the logistics, transportation, sales, and marketing for 4-H Fruit Fundraiser, which raised approximately $8,000 for 4-H on the Olympic Peninsula.
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