This week I had an opportunity to see two exciting examples of Extension's work with University undergraduate and graduate students. The first was a 4-H aquatic remote operated vehicle (ROV), created with students and faculty from the U's department of electrical and computer engineering. The second was a capstone project by Humphrey Institute graduate students to assist Extension in responding to increasingly diverse and interdependent domestic and global needs.
4-H's aquatic robotics program includes more than 4,000 4-H youth who learn how to build ROVs and use them for water testing and other projects. 4-H needed an ROV that could withstand currents and dive deeper. Extension faculty worked with the student and faculty engineers to develop the new ROV prototype. The next step is for the engineering and Extension faculty and students to make the 200-pound prototype lighter and more accessible so it can be built and used by 4-H youth.
Several graduate students from the U's Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs completed their Capstone projects with Extension. They developed tools and resources that will assist Extension staff in incorporating global dynamics and cultural knowledge in Extension programs. You will be hearing more about those resources from Renee Pardello and Dick Senese in the coming months.
These are just two examples of the valuable ways Extension can engage University students and faculty from colleges we have not worked with in the past. In the process, we expose students to Extension who may never have considered Extension as a future career choice, they gain experience working in communities, and we benefit from their knowledge and expertise.
I look forward to seeing more examples of Extension's engagement with U undergraduate and graduate students.