- Author: Cris L. Johnson
The 4-H teams were assigned to build and program a robot that was capable of cleaning a hypothetical environmental spill of birdseed, rice and macaroni that stood in for spill elements considered too dangerous or difficult for humans to handle. Teams were supplied masking tape, straws, string, paper cups, index cards, a toothbrush head, foam and a digital battery. Utilizing these materials they worked to fabricate tiny robot sweepers that would be able clean the mess before being swept out to an improvised ocean.
The challenge tested their imaginations, patience, skills and ingenuity as they took their contraptions through timed trial runs, making adjustments and modifications along the way. A three-second breathing period was required whenever a robot needed manhandling during a run which allowed participants a short space to react with a more considered response.
Two members from the Citrus Valley club, Allison Sim and Patrick Bello, finished first with an 87% spill removal. The 10 and 11-year old experimented by overcoming obstacles that allowed their robot, Brushie, to achieve the winning score.
Millions of youth throughout the nation participated in the 4-H National Science Experiment and the EcoBot Challenge complements the robotics and engineering programs that are a significant part of the 4-H science curriculum. Learn more about the EcoBot Challenge here.
UC ANR’s Spanish News Service website brings Agriculture and Natural Resource information to California residents who are fluent, and more comfortable learning, in Spanish. This is a vital service for all Californians as many of the issues and challenges we face together can only be solved by all of us working together.
This highly organized, visually appealing, and easy to navigate site provides a great deal of information on many important topics. The information can be accessed by audio, video, articles, and blogs.
- Invasive species
- Water quality
- Nutrition and fitness
- Child development
- Preventing obesity and overweight
- Reducing the risk of diabetes
- Natural resources
- Recovering from a natural disaster
- Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
- Preventing and recovering from wildfires
- Money management
- And much more
A similar site is available in English.
Soils perform vital functions, and are the basis of the ecosystem. Healthy and productive soil is vital for our survival. It is an amazing resource and fascinating to learn about.
- Soil facts – definitions, career information, soil basics, glossary, and regulations for moving soils
- Painting with soil – Jan Lang’s images of the Lewis and Clark Expedition
- 10 key messages to understanding soils
- Find out about your state’s soil
- Links for students and teachers – available for grades K-6, 7-12, and college level
- Videos and webinars
- Dig It! The Secrets of Soil
- NRCS photo gallery – natural resource and conservation related photos from across the United States
- And more
Written by a team of authors, including UCCE Ventura County’s Oleg Daugovish the recently published Organic Strawberry Production Manual is full of fantastic information.
In 2009 organic strawberry sales in California totaled $55 million, up substantially from $2 million in 1997. Organic production is projected to continue to increase, and this detailed how-to guide will help those working with the organic production of strawberries.
This publication is designed for commercial growers, pest control advisors, consultants, marketers, industry professionals and other interested in the organic growing and certification process.
- Selecting plant varieties
- Managing crops
- Identifying and managing pests and diseases
- Making the switch from conventional to organic growing
- Pursuing organic certification
- And much more
To learn more, please visit this page of the UC ANR Catalog. To receive 10% off your online order, please use promo code, PRVEN56. In addition to your discount, a portion of the sale will help support local programs.
Rural roads are vital to rural communities, nature recreation users, and for fire and other disaster emergency response and evacuation. These roads are often located in forested and rangeland settings and may be owned and/or managed by governmental or private parties.
The UC Forest Research and Outreach website offers many wonderful resources, including the Rural Roads Webinar Series. From their website:
“Rural roads in California are associated with several environmental impacts. They have been identified as a major source of sediment production in watersheds supporting beneficial uses. They can provide the means by which exotic plants and animals and pathogens are spread into wild lands. Roads fragment the landscape and adversely affect wildlife habitat. Vehicles traveling on rural roads are responsible for thousands of road-killed wildlife every year.”
The webinar series will provide viewers with:
- a broad overview of the environmental issues associated with rural roads in California.
- a description of the fundamental principles of rural road construction, re-construction and operations.
- a description of practices used to minimize the environmental impacts of road construction, operations and maintenance.
- review methods used for road assessment and inventory to identify problems and maintenance or re-construction or restoration needs.
Check the sitefor upcoming webinars. Previous versions have been archived on the website.