Minnesota Monday Logo The University of Minnesota Extension, UMN Crookston’s Office of Outreach & Engagement together with resources from Minnesota Ag In the Classroom will host a 5-week, virtual, 15 minute, on-demand weekly series that will touch on regional, agricultural-based content sharing basic concepts in science, agriculture, nutrition.  

MN 4H LogoYouth & families don't let being at home stop you from exploring and discovering. Check out these hands-on, brief sessions to learn about soil, pollinators, gardening, or deepen your commitment to your community and nature. Are you a 7th through 11th grade student? Check out this virtual 4H Camp Immersion opportunity. It is FREE.

On-Demand Courses released at 9:00 am
on June 8, June 15, June 22, June 29, and July 6

We want to see your photos and videos!

Share now on Minnesota Monday Facebook page


Monday, July 6

minnesota monday gold leaf iconTopic: Water, energy and your environment

We depend on clean water for drinking, recreation and irrigation. Fish and wildlife also depend on clean water. In Minnesota, fishing, hunting and water-based recreation are an important part of our economy. As water quality declines, so can the value of property surrounding a body of water.

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The 4-H Water Quality Team is one of many 4-H Science of Agriculture Challenge teams across Minnesota working with local experts to identify issues in their communities and develop science-based solutions. University of Minnesota Extension's 4-H has developed the first program of its kind in the country to ignite excitement about agriculture, increase ag science literacy, and expand the pipeline of youth pursuing agriculture-related careers.
Learn more about 4H and the water quality team.

Five-part Webinar Series: 
Watering wisdom, growing a healthy lawn with less water

Part 1: Outdoor Water Use in the Twin Cities: Am I Using Too Much?
Tuesday July 7th, 2020 2:00 PM

Future Study and Careers

  • You could study water science at the University of Minnesota.
  • Park Rangers, hydrologists, and conservation scientists study and manage natural resources and water supplies.

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Grade level info:  K-2   |   3-5   |   6-8   |   9-12


Reflection
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  1. Why is water important?


Survey
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Participant Survey

  1. What surprised you about this session?
  2. What did you like or what was interesting about this session?

Collaboration/Partnership - University of Minnesota Crookston, University of Minnesota Extension Youth Development (MN4-H), Pine Lake Wild Rice Farms, Inc.


Monday, June 29

minnesota monday gold leaf iconTopic: What's Bugging You?

Entomology is the study of insects. There are way more insects on earth than there are people. Butterflies, dragonflies, bees, cockroaches, bed bugs and flies are just a few. Insects play a big part in our earth's ecosystem and food supply.

Sweep nets are sturdy nets, often with a canvas bag, that are used to collect insects and other invertebrates from long grass. A photograph of a sweep net. Sweep nets are sturdy nets used to collect insects from long grass. Go out and look for ladybugs. The best time to look will be between May and October.

Ladybugs can be found wherever there are aphids and small soft-bodied insects. Some are more common on low vegetation, small grains and legumes. Other species are also found in fruit trees and willows. Many overwinter in groups in leaf litter or by buildings. (Check our website for instructions on how to make your own sweep net!)

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How to make your own Sweep Net Supplies: 

  1. 1 Pillow Case
  2. 2 Wire Hangers
  3. Duct Tape
  4. 1 piece of wood about 3 feet long for the handle
  5. Scissors for cutting the pillow case
  6. Pliers
  7. Step 1: Turn your 2 wire hangers into similar circles. Then tape them together in several places, leaving the open end opened. 
    Step 2: Now cut two holes on either side of the seam were there are two layers of pillow. Then put the wire through the pillow. Straighten out the ends sticking out for the handle.
    Step 3: Now heavily tape the four wire pieces hanging out of the pillow to your handle. Make sure its sturdy because it’s used to sweep through high grasses, alfalfa, clover, and anything else that aphids eat (ladybugs eat aphids).

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What’s Bugging You? Tell us on social media what is in your backyard?

Monarchs and Lost Lady Bug
(Citizen Science project, PERFECT for this age group, build your own bug net and go catch bugs)

Bumble bee watch
(MN’s state bee is endangered - let’s get youth looking for it with this Citizen Science)

Edible Activity
Ladybug, make one today

Grade level info:  3-5   |   6-8   |   9-12


Reflection
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  1. What surprised you about this activity/session?

  2. What did you like or what was interesting about this activity/session?


Survey
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Participant Survey

  1. What surprised you about this activity?
  2. What did you like or what was interesting about this activity?

Collaboration/Partnership - University of Minnesota Crookston, University of Minnesota Extension Youth Development (MN4-H), Pine Lake Wild Rice Farms, Inc.


Monday, June 22

minnesota monday gold leaf iconTopic: Pollinators

Are you passionate about bees, butterflies and the earth? All youth in grades K-12+ are welcome to join us as we dive deeper into the world of pollinators. There will be challenges and activities about honey bees, native pollinators and pollinator habitats to expand your pollinator knowledge. Whether you want to attract pollinators to your yard or plant a prairie; growing in shade or sun, sand or loam we'll help you find annuals, perennials and native flowers that thrive in northern gardens and landscapes.

Interested in becoming a beekeeper? Dr. Marla Spivak and Gary Reuter from the University of Minnesota Bee Lab will help you get started in beekeeping. If you have had no prior experience keeping bees in our cold climate, Beekeeping in Northern Climates, Year 1 will teach you everything you need to know for a successful first year.

Pollinator videos and photos, check them out!

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Grade level info:  K-2  |  3-5   |   6-8   |   9-12   |   Virtual Field Trip


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Reflection
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  1. Why is pollination important?
    Bumble bees in slow motion 

Survey
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Participant Survey

  1. What surprised you about this activity?
  2. What did you like or what was interesting about this activity?

Collaboration/Partnership - University of Minnesota Crookston, University of Minnesota Extension Youth Development (MN4-H), Pine Lake Wild Rice Farms, Inc.


Monday, June 15

minnesota monday gold leaf iconTopic: Planting and Weed ID

Plants maintain the atmosphere. They produce oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide during photosynthesis. Oxygen is essential for cellular respiration for all aerobic organisms. It also maintains the ozone layer that helps protect Earth's life from damaging UV radiation.

Plants are really important for the planet and for all living things. Plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen from their leaves, which humans and other animals need to breathe. Living things need plants to live - they eat them and live in them. Plants help to clean water too.

A weed is defined as any plant that is considered undesirable, unattractive or troublesome, especially when growing where it is not wanted. This diagnostic tool will help you identify and manage common and invasive weeds in Minnesota lawns and landscapes.

We’ve got the Beet Polk County: One Vegetable, One Community 2020
In this video, Megan Hruby with U of MN Extension SNAP-Ed provides a quick tutorial on how to plant this year's vegetable of the year, the Garden Beet!

Share what you're doing with the garden beet throughout the summer

#TurnUpTheBeet #OVOC2020 #TakeItOutside

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Weed ID 

Grade level info:  K-2  |  3-5   |   6-8   |   9-10   |   11-12


Edible Activity
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See Them Sprout: 4-H Youth Gardening - Salad Garden in a Recyclable Grocery Bag

It is easy to grow lettuce in reusable grocery bags.  Lettuce is a great container gardening vegetable because its short roots mean it can grow anywhere that has good drainage; even a shallow  container. However, lettuce likes to be kept moist, and it is easier to keep your plants moist in a larger container that holds more soil, so realize that the smaller the container, the more you will need to water the plants.

Salad growing in a reusable grocery bag


Reflection
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  1. Why is planting important?
    Hint: Explain that most of our food depends on planting.

  2. Weed identification, why is it important?
  3. What is an invasive weed?

Survey
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Participant Survey

  1. What surprised you about this activity?
  2. What did you like or what was interesting about this activity?

Collaboration/Partnership - University of Minnesota Crookston, University of Minnesota Extension Youth Development (MN4-H), Pine Lake Wild Rice Farms, Inc.


Monday, June 8

minnesota monday gold leaf iconTopic: Quick & Dirty - Explore the soil in your backyard environment

As gardeners, we are more concerned with the ground that we have in our own plots. The more we know about this vital commodity, the better plants we produce, and the better our gardens become.

So, what is soil?  The earth beneath our feet is a mixture of organic material that comes from decayed plants and animal matter, particles of rocks, minerals, air, water, and the small creatures that live in it. There are six types of soil: Loamy, Silty, Chalky, Clay, Peaty and Sandy. 

Let’s take a moment to explore two key qualities of soil, and their implications for the home gardener; Structure & Texture. The structure of earth is comprised of pieces of material, and spaces of air. Clay particles usually dominate, but it can also contain smaller particles like sand. Texture indicates how the soil feels when the aggregates have bonded together. The shape of the particles, and how these building blocks come together to make the material that you are using in your garden, determines the way the soil performs.

There is a lot of information regarding soil, quality, and of course composition. To learn more about how to manage soil, check out the University of Minnesota Extension for more valuable information.

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Understanding topsoil (see above video)

  • Soil Detective - determine the type of soil you have (clay, silt, sand)

Grade level info: K-2  3-5  |  6-8  |  9-12

Vegetable Planting 

Soil Texture video 

UMN Crookston's Allen & Freda Pederson Community Garden - host, Theresa Helgeson, Lab Service Coordinator, Horticulture


Edible Activity
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Edible Dirt - Make at home!
Edible Dirt Recipe 


Reflection
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  1. Why is soil important?
    Hint: Explain that most of our food depends on soil. The animals eat feed produced by soil, the clothes we wear (cotton) are produced by plants that grow in soil, animals that produce meat, milk and eggs rely on food that grown in soil.

  2. What are the 4 layers of soil?
  3. What do you think happens if soil isn't healthy? How do you know if soil isn't healthy?

Survey
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Participant Survey

  1. What surprised you about this activity?
  2. What did you like or what was interesting about this activity?

Collaboration/Partnership for the June 8 Activity - University of Minnesota Crookston, University of Minnesota Extension Youth Development (MN4-H), Pine Lake Wild Rice Farms, Inc.



Polk County One Vegetable, One Community

Youth Agriculture Resources

4-H is open and actively working to discover and encourage the sparks within our youth. We have a variety of new learning experiences available for summer exploration. Find statewide opportunities like performing arts, engineering design, photography and more at 4-H at home.

Erin Kelly-Collins
Communications, Extension Center for Youth Development | extension.umn.edu/youth
University of Minnesota | umn.edu
o. 612-624-4333 | c. 612-910-6054

More on Youth Activities at University of Minnesota