Sarasota County Extension launches free, online, youth science program

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Sarasota County Extension launches free outdoor exploration program for youth at home

SARASOTA COUNTY – Registration is now open for Sarasota County Extension’s new, online summer program aimed at getting students outside to investigate nature that exists just beyond their front door.

Free and open to the public, the “4-H Outdoor InvestiGATOR” webinar program shows children ages 8-11 how to search for and better understand the importance of insects, animals, and the variety of living things all around them.

S.gif a monarch butterfly rests on the wrist of a young child

“We hope to give children something to look forward to and an outlet to channel their creativity throughout the week,” said Abbey Tyrna, water resources agent with UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County and creator of the program. “I know that my own kids do best when they are given assignments that allow them to experiment and showcase their creative side.”

The InvestiGATOR program launches June 2 with a three-workshop webinar series focusing on living things found on dry land. Offered Tuesdays at 11:30 a.m., each hour-long workshop features a subject expert teaching students about the natural world around them, includes ideas for extending investigations beyond the webinar, and ends with tips on staying well during a pandemic. Students will be encouraged to share their skills and interests with videos, photos or other artwork after each meeting.

A second, three-workshop session focusing on living things found in water environments follows, starting June 23, also offered at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesdays.

Registration is open to 4-H and non-4-H youth alike, but seats are limited. Children who participate in all three workshops in a session earn the honor of “4-H InvestiGATOR,” and will receive a badge, magnifying glassand the chance to win the 4-H InvestiGATOR T-shirt. Learn more and register at:

UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County, a partnership between the University of Florida and Sarasota County, translates academic research into community initiatives, classes, and volunteer opportunities in a variety of fields, including youth development.

For more information, visit atyrna.

An Equal Opportunity Institution. UF/IFAS Extension, University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension. Sarasota County prohibits discrimination in all services, programs or activities. View the complete policy at

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