Hundreds of thousands of youth across the world will participate in the eighth annual 4-H National Youth Science Day experiment on Oct. 7. This year’s experiment, “Motion Commotion,” will combine a speeding car collision and a distracted driving demonstration in an activity that investigates the physical and human factors of motion.

4-H NYSD is the world’s largest youth-led science experiment. This national rallying event is an interactive learning experience that gets youth excited about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, or STEM subjects, and spotlights the many ways youth around the nation are engaging in 4-H science programs year-round.

Youth will conduct the two-part Motion Commotion experiment using everyday materials, including a toy car, modeling clay, ruler, calculator, and cellphone, to explore physics in the real world. In the first phase, youth will construct a simulated runway to analyze the speed, momentum, and kinetic energy of a car in motion and will explore the science behind collisions. In the second phase, they will lead an experiment that uses the same physics principles to demonstrate the consequences of distracted driving.

The 2015 activity was designed by Oregon State University Cooperative Extension in partnership with Vernier Software & Technology and selected as the winning experiment.

The experiment will be conducted at hundreds of local events taking place nationwide. In Virginia, those interested in participating in a local experiment should contact their local county 4-H Virginia Cooperative Extension office. The national 4-H Council will host a flagship national event with hundreds of youth participating in the experiment on Oct. 7 in Washington, D.C. The national sponsors of 2015 4-H NYSD are Hughes - HughesNet satellite Internet, Lockheed Martin, and U.S. Cellular.

The worldwide experiment is part of National 4-H Week on Oct. 4-9 and is meant to create awareness about the organization and the individuals that make it a remarkable community resource for youth. In Blacksburg, 4-H will conduct a flag-raising ceremony Oct. 5 in front of Burruss Hall,  as well as other activities including recognizing volunteers for their contributions.

"National 4-H Week celebrates the nations’s largest youth development organization," said Cathy Sutphin, associate director for 4-H Youth Development. "4-H empowers over 6 million young people nationally and engages more than 200,000 youth in Virginia."

Every year, youth complete more than 5 million 4-H science projects in robotics, agricultural science, rocketry, wind power, environmental science, and alternative energy. To learn more about 4-H NYSD, visit  



Written by Amy Loeffler.
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