Here's some of the latest news from the San Luis Valley 4-H program.

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SLV News Highlights

The San Luis Valley 4-H youth robotics team of Mason Torr and Michael Ward, along with coach Amy Henschen, competed in the RoboRAVE International robotics competition in Medellin, Colombia, May 11-13. They won fifth place in the high school line following event.

“After four years of hard work and dedication with our robot, we could not be more thrilled about our performance,” said Michael Ward, 18 of Center. “The progress we made with the robot from competition to competition has been outstanding, and it was running at peak performance for this event.”

Three San Luis Valley 4-H youth robotics teams competed in the RoboRave USA robotics competition, Friday, May 5 and Saturday, May 6 at the Albuquerque Convention Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In the middle school division, Stefan Guillen of Romeo and Damion Garcia of Alamosa, took home first place in the Fastbot competition. They also placed sixth in the a-MAZE-ing Challenge.

In the high school division, Matthew Jones of Antonito and Daniel Chavez of Alamosa won second place in the AlpineBot Challenge. Mason Torr and Michael Ward of Center placed sixth in the Line Following Challenge.

Youth from 20 robotics teams from Colorado and New Mexico participated in the RoboRAVE Colorado youth robotics competition on Saturday, April 1 at Monte Vista High School in Monte Vista. This contest, hosted by the San Luis Valley 4-H Robotics program and RoboRAVE International, offered participants the opportunity to compete for prizes in four different events and two age divisions. Local competitors from the San Luis Valley performed strongly in all of the events.

San Luis Valley 4-H members swept the awards in the a-MAZE-ing event. Damion Garcia and Stefan Guillen won first place with their maze navigating robot. Noah Malouff, Derek Rodriguez and Matthew Bishop finished second. Elias Arredondo and Ike Renner came in third.

The San Luis Valley 4-H youth development program is looking for adults to share their knowledge as volunteers. These volunteers will leverage their experiences and interests to help youth build life skills in various subject areas.

“Volunteers are essential to help youth make the most of the wide variety of learning experiences they are presented with in 4-H,” said Amy Henschen, 4-H Extension Agent with Colorado State University. “We are currently looking for adults to serve as project leaders or help with workshops and school programming so we can better serve youth in the Valley.”

Every dollar county, state and federal agencies invest in the Colorado 4-H Program is returned to the state’s economy six times over. That’s one of the findings of a new Colorado State University study evaluating the economic contributions of the youth development program.

“This is a conservative estimate of the contribution of 4-H,” said Rebecca Hill, a CSU extension research economist and author of the study. “In addition to the monetary benefits, there are other benefits that are not easily quantifiable.”