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4-H Self-Determined Mechanical Engineering & Technology

Program Contact: Yakima County 4-H Program Coordinator
(509) 574-1600 •

Through engineering and technology projects, 4-H helps youth learn about the iterative engineering design process, attributes of design, impacts of systems, and effects of technology on the environment.


In self-determined projects (created by the youth), earning goals are determined by the member, parent, and leader.;

Youth will decide:

  • What they want to learn
  • How they want to learn it
  • How they want to share what they’ve learned with an audience

If you don’t see your interest area on the 4-H Projects & Programs list, then a self-determined project may be right for you!

Check out Iowa 4-H’s guide to self-determined projects for helpful tips!

Member  & Leader Publications

EM2956E – Make Up Your Own Mind
EM2957E – Self-Determined Projects–4-H Leader Guide

State 4-H STEM Resources
National 4-H Robotics & Engineering Educational Kits
National 4-H STEM


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Helpful Resources

4-H STEM Challenge

4-H Polymers Curriculum

4-H Polymers: Be a Scientist! Materials in a Green, Clean World (Grades K-2)

Sustainable Polymers: Plastics of the Future for a Green, Clean World (Grades 3-5)

Sustainable Polymers: Taking Action to Solve the Challenge of Plastics (Grades 6-8)

4-H WearTec Curriculum

4-H Wearable Technology curriculum series in which youth solve real world problems and practice the engineering design process while immersed in the innovative area of wearable technologies. This curriculum teaches engineering design, computer programming, basic circuitry, and sewing.

WearTec Book 1: Circuitry – Design Notebook

WearTec Book 1: Circuitry – Leader’s Guide

WearTec Book 2: Sewing – Design Challenge

WearTec Book 2: Sewing – Leader’s Guide

WearTec Book 3: Programming – Design Notebook

WearTec Book 3: Programming – Leader’s Guide

WearTec Book 4: Design – Design Notebook

WearTec Book 4: Design – Leader’s Guide

STEAM Clothing

In this series, youth learn how to construct garments while also learning textile science, beginning math and engineering techniques, and investigating careers and service projects in the garment industry.

STEAM Clothing 1:  FUNdamentals

In STEAM Clothing 1: FUNdamentals, youth will gather the tools they’ll need to begin sewing, understand textiles through fun science experiments, learn beginning math and engineering techniques in clothing construction, and take their skills a step further, investigating businesses, service learning projects, and modeling.

STEAM Clothing 2:  Simply Sewing

In STEAM Clothing 2: Simply Sewing, youth will prepare for more advanced sewing techniques and projects, conduct more advanced textile science experiments, focus on advanced engineering techniques, add finishing touches and style to garments, and market and calculate prices of products.

STEAM Clothing 3:  A Stitch Further

In STEAM Clothing 3: A Stitch Further, youth will learn the advanced, couture techniques used by designers to create unique garments. Youth will take the science of textiles a step further, and learn to sew garments with challenging patterns and fabrics, couture sewing techniques, and how to sell your professional-looking garments and accessories.

Maker’s Guide to Sewing Stuff

In Maker’s Guide to Sewing Stuff, youth will use the skills learned in STEAM Clothing 1 & 2 to make stuff! Youth will create items to use and wear while they practice their beginning sewing skills. Activities in this manual are for beginning and intermediate sewers looking to improve their skills before progressing into using patterns to make garments.