Franklin Middle students take on 'incredible wearables' challenge

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) – Franklin Middle School 6th graders put on their engineer hats Tuesday to take part in 4-H National Youth Science Day.

The morning started with students from Iowa State University giving a presentation on wearable technology they’re currently studying. That included a solar powered jacket and innovative umbrella.

The 6th graders then took what they learned and applied it to the “Incredible Wearables” challenge. It’s a challenge thousands of students across the country are also taking on. They were tasked with creating their own fitness tracker. The students broke into teams and worked with 4-H volunteers to create them.

“Our kids today have learned some of the 4-H basic things that are real important to us, things like how to work in teams, how to communicate with others, how to problem solve. So, even if stem might not be their thing, they’re still learning great skills that will help them be great employees here in our community in the future,” 4-H Youth Development Specialist Ann Torbert said. “They’re learning drive, you’re seeing what they’re passionate about. In a typical school day they may not get that kind of opportunity.”

Students like Omar Elkha were excited to take part in the day.

“I like science because you get to do a lot things that you normally wouldn't do, you wouldn't normally make an explosion, you wouldn't normally make foam expand, and you wouldn't normally create a circuit and make a watch,” Elkha said.

The students had to test the trackers and trouble shoot. Then later in the afternoon, their family and members of the community came in to test the trackers out.

This is the second National Youth Science Day held at Franklin, and 4-H hopes to hold another next year.