Discover the science within the 4-H shooting sports project area

Youth learn principles of shooting sports physics through simple STEM activities related to gravity, momentum, path of a projectile and energy.

Shooting Sports is a fast growing and popular project in Michigan 4-H. According to Michigan State University Extension, many young people are challenging their skills in archery or firearm shooting. However 4-H Shooting Sports is not just about hitting, or missing a target. Many life skills are learned along the way.

4-H Shooting Sports teaches youth skills such as safety, responsible firearm and equipment handling, respect for our natural resources, concentration, focusing, perseverance, and helping others. But did you know that there are valuable science lessons hidden in the shooting sports project as well? The 4-H Shooting Sports program is a great example to show how science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) are part of 4-H projects. Colorado State University Extension has developed STEM Activities for the Colorado 4-H Shooting Sports Project. The curriculum introduces youth to the physics of shooting sports through hands-on STEM activities. Through hands-on activities, youth are led to the principles of shooting sports’ physics-- gravity, momentum, the path of a projectile and energy. Open ended discussion questions at the end of each activity build critical thinking and problem solving skills, and help youth to relate the activity to shooting sports and apply what they have learned. You don’t have to be an expert in physics to facilitate these activities with youth. They can easily be utilized by any 4-H shooting sports instructor or volunteer, after school program instructors, or by families with youngsters interested in shooting sports and hunting.

Did you find this article useful?