University of California

Animal Ambassadors…4-H teens learn to lead science program for kids


Martin H. Smith
Richard P. Enfield
Cheryl L. Meehan
Donald J. Klingborg

Authors Affiliations

M. H. Smith is Assistant Cooperative Extension Specialist, Veterinary Medicine Extension, School of Veterinary Medicine, UC Davis; R.P. Enfield is 4-H Youth Development Advisor, UC Cooperative Extension, San Luis Obispo County; C.L. Meehan is Post-Graduate Researcher, School of Veterinary Medicine, UC Davis; D.J. Klingborg is Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and Associate Dean of Extension and Public Programs, School of Veterinary Medicine, UC Davis.

Publication Information

Hilgardia 58(4):209-212. DOI:10.3733/ca.v058n04p209. October 2004.

PDF of full article, Cite this article


To improve science literacy among school-age children in the United States, educators must receive effective training and support, and children must be engaged in science at a young age. Animal Ambassadors is a science-education outreach program of the UC School of Veterinary Medicine, Veterinary Medicine Extension, which focuses on the awareness and understanding of animal-related concepts and emphasizes important critical thinking and life skills. Through a collaboration with UC Cooperative Extension's San Luis Obispo County Youth Development Program, an Animal Ambassadors research project showed positive outcomes relative to interrelated goals involving teen training and youth science literacy.


Ciardiello AV. Did you ask a good question today? Alternative, cognitive, and metacognitive strategies. J Adolescent Adult Literacy. 1998. 42(3):210-9.

Dana T, Campbell LM, Lunetta VN. Theoretical based science teacher education. Elementary School J. 1997. 97(4):419-33. https://doi.org/10.1086/461874

Fulp SL. Status of Elementary School Science Teaching. 2000 National Survey of Science and Mathematics Education. 2002. www.Horizon-research.com

Hendricks PA. Developing Youth Curriculum Using the Targeting Life Skills Model: Incorporating Developmentally Appropriate Learning Opportunities to Assess Impact of Life Skill Development. 1998. Ames, IA: Iowa State Univ Extension.

Hinman RL. Scientific literacy revisited. Phi Delta Kappan. 1999. 81(3):239-

Hiraoka L. The international test scores are in. (U.S. students do not do well.) NEA Today. 1998. 16(9):19-

Jorgenson O, Vanosdall R. The death of science? What we risk in our rush toward standardized testing and the three R's. Phi Delta Kappan. 2002. 83(8):601-5.

Latham A. Asking students the right questions. Ed Leadership. 1997. 54(6):84-

Lee FC, Murdock S. Teenagers as teachers programs: Ten essential elements. J Extension. 2001. 39((1)): www.joe.org

Loucks-Horsley S, Hewson P, Love N, Stiles K. Designing Professional Development for Teachers of Science and Mathematics.. 1998. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Pr. 325p.

Lowery LF. The Scientific Thinking Processes. Full Option Science System (FOSS). 1992. Lawrence Hall of Science, Berkeley, CA.:

Martens ML. Productive questions: Tools for supporting constructivist learning. Sci Children. 1999. 53:24-7.

[NCES] National Center for Education Statistics. Highlights from the Third International Mathematics and Science Study-Repeat (TIMSS-R). 2000. http://nces.ed.gov/timss/timss-r/highlights.asp

O'Sullivan CY, Lauko MA, Grigg WS, et al. The Nation's Report Card: Science 2000. 2002. http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/pubs/main2000/2003453.asp

Ponzio RC, Jung SK, Smith MH, Braverman MT, Carlos RM, Stanley SM. 4-H teens as science teachers of children. Advances in Youth Development Programming.. 2000. Oakland, CA.: DANR Pub 3401. p. 75-91.

Price MV, Cardullo RA. UC must take the lead on curriculum reform, teacher training. Cal Ag. 2000. 54(1):56-62.

Richetti C, Sheerin J. Helping students ask the right questions. Education Leadership. 1999. 57(3):58-62.

Rubin P. Start young!. Sci Children. 2002. 40(2):25-7.

Smith MH. students. Animal Ambassadors — A Bridge to the World of Science. Lower Elementary Curriculum. 2002. Veterinary Medicine Extension, School of Veterinary Medicine, UC Davis.

Smith MH, Enfield RP. Training 4-H teen facilitators in inquiry-based science methods: The evaluation of a “step-up” incremental training model. J Extension. 2002. 40((6)): http://www.joe.org

Smith MH, Meehan CL, Enfield RP, et al. Improving county-based science programs: Bringing out the science teacher in your volunteer leaders. J Extension. In press.

[TIMSS] Third International Math and Science Study. International Science Report. Findings from IEA's Repeat of TIMSS at the Eighth Grade. 1999. http://isc.bc.edu/timss1999i/science_achievement_report.html

Smith M, Enfield R, Meehan C, Klingborg D. 2004. Animal Ambassadors…4-H teens learn to lead science program for kids. Hilgardia 58(4):209-212. DOI:10.3733/ca.v058n04p209
Webmaster Email: wsuckow@ucanr.edu