Rahway High School Sophomores Nominated for 4-H Science Day

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Sean Penaranda and Christopher Stradford, Rahway High School sophomores, who were nominated to attend the annual 4-H National Science Day in Washington based on their activities last summer that included attendance at the Samsung Rutgers Science program and teaching other young people in the county about engineering.

Sean Penaranda and Christopher Stradford, Rahway High School sophomores, who were nominated to attend the annual 4-H National Science Day in Washington based on their activities last summer that included attendance at the Samsung Rutgers Science program and teaching other young people in the county about engineering. (Photo courtesy of Rahway High School)

RAHWAY — Christopher Stardford, a Rahway High School sophomore, joined other students from New Jersey and around the country at the annual 4-H National Youth Science Day held on Wednesday, Oct. 9, in Washington, D.C. He and another Rahway sophomore, Sean Penaranda, were both nominated to represent Union County but Penaranda was not able to attend because of scheduling conflicts.

The event was an opportunity for learning more about Geographic Information System (GIS) and for sharing what had been learned through the Samsung 4-H Summer Science Program which the students had attended at Rutgers in July.

Both Stardford and Penaranda, along with Rahway High School sophomore Osaze Morris, took part in the Samsung Rutgers summer program. Initially, they spent a week doing experiments relating about how Hurricane Sandy impacted trees at the Rutgers Ecological Preserve. The information they gathered on the damage was put into the GIS through Samsung phones.

Later, Stardford and Penaranda went out to local communities, Penaranda to the Elizabeth Public Library and Stardford to the Rahway Recreation Center with the Union County 4-H Agent, Jim Nichnadowicz, to teach other young people about engineering. Stardford helped youth build paper bridges that were able to support much more weight than one would expect, while Penaranda helped children make cardstock gliders that traveled significant distances.

The annual 4-H National Science Day gathering of students and educators is the highlight of 4-H STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) programs. For over a hundred years 4-H has provided youth with out-of-school science education through the county extension programs of the Department of Agriculture, reaching every county in the United States.


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