Exploration Days Session and Free Time Details

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November 3, 2022 - Author:

Exploration Days Session and Free Time Details

Michigan State University Extension 4-H Exploration Days is a pre-college program for more than 1000 youth (ages 12-19 years old) from across the state of Michigan. This exciting program allows youth to try new things, gain confidence and independence through hands-on learning, and make friends that can last a lifetime. The 2023 event is set for June 19-21, 2024 on the campus of Michigan State University. Our theme is around belonging and all the ways that youth can and do belong.

All non MSU faculty and staff will need to complete the MSU Extension Volunteer Selection Process in order to volunteer as part of this program. Specific directions on how to apply will be sent to those that are selected. The Volunteer Selection Process will require an application, background checks, references, an interview, and online orientation. More information on the adult instructor role and the youth co-instructor role can be found on the Exploration Days Volunteer Information page. Please take a few minutes to review the Adult Instructor role description.

What are the benefits to you as an instructor?  You will get to:

  • Share your passion and knowledge about a topic important to you and youth
  • Support youth experiencing college life on the campus of Michigan State University

Sessions take place on:

  • Thursday, June 20 from 8:30am-11:30am (3 hour session- Session A)
  • Thursday, June 20 from 1:30pm-4:30pm (3 hour session- Session B)
  • Thursday, June 20 from 8:30am-11:30am AND 1:30pm-4:30pm (6 hour session- Session C)
  • Friday, June 21 from 8:30am-11:00am (2 1/2 hour session-Session D)

Please note-field trips off campus are only available for sessions held on Thursday (Session C) due to timing. Busing to an on-campus is available for all sessions.

Think outside the box for session ideas!  Youth like sessions on career paths, cutting edge research/work, animals, life skills for their future, recreational activities and new and emerging activities/topics.

A few key points to know:

  • Thursday sessions (A and B) are 3 hours long; Friday morning (D session) is only 2.5 hours long to allow travel time for participants back home
  • Content should be interactive and fill the full time slot chosen
  • A second survey for accepted sessions will come out closer to the event to determine session supply and lodging needs
  • Please complete the survey again if submitting a different session idea
  • We will be providing a training for all instructors to provide framing around the event outcomes and best practices for session success
  • Instructors will be provided meals for the days that they are teaching a session. If lodging is needed, the cost will be $60 for one night and $120 for two nights to cover basic costs of the event (There is assistance available to help with these cost, please reach out to Laura Potter-Niesen for more information.)

Session proposal requests are now open until December 5, 2023.  In completing the form,  you will want to come prepared with the title, description, location or room needs, a basic idea of cost per youth participant, names of any co-instructors/session (youth or adult) that you know (as of now) and their contact information. Please note a session submission does not equate to a session at the event. All sessions will not be accepted due to need, size of sessions, and spacing availability.  Notification will be sent by early 2024 regarding acceptance.

Please use this link to complete the survey for each session (or free time activity) you wish to have considered: https://msu.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_3fmWPGJ4EoO9bdI

Proposals for Free Time Activity Offerings! Our priority is a robust session schedule; however, free time choices (where youth choose what they want to do at the moment) are just as important to the youth experience. Free time activities take place in the evenings on Wednesday, June 19 and Thursday, June 20 starting around 7:30pm and ending at 9:30pm. Free time activities are drop-in choices for youth which may mean many youth attend or very little to no youth will show up.  It is a great space for games, running a league/tournament, sharing new MSU research or a tour of a campus building, doing a community service activity, sharing a craft, or teaching an interactive experience like fitness, performing, etc. Free time requests will be accepted until December 5, 2023 in the online form. After that date, please contact 4h.expodays@msu.edu for consideration for a free time activity.

If you need assistance with the survey, have questions, or would like to brainstorm session ideas or ways to make a topic hands-on, please send an e-mail to: 4h.expodays@msu.edu

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