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K-State to offer Discovery Days for teens


More than 700 teens are expected to attend Discovery Days at Kansas State University June 2 to 5, a K-State spokesperson said.

"The three-day youth conference is themed "Endless Possibilities" and is open to teens ages 13 to 18, said Justin Wiebers, state 4-H youth development specialist based at K-State Research and Extension in Manhattan.

The youth conference will be held on the K-State campus in Manhattan and will allow students to sample what life might be like in the next stage of their education, Wiebers said.

Teens attending the conference can make new friends while living in the residence halls and discover new interests as they choose from more than 75 classes that will be offered, he said.

Subjects at the conference will range from human biology to water quality and the environment; from digital photography to making a purse from duct tape; and from touring the Grain Science flour mill to learning about new food product development, trying your hand as an Iron Chef or playing a round of golf--all without homework.

Instructors include Kansas State University faculty, 4-H leaders from throughout the state and, in some cases, older 4-H members and mentors who are volunteering to share their expertise via U-Teach sessions, Wiebers said.

"The variety of classes offers students opportunities for personal growth and development, meeting new people and making new friends," Wiebers said. And, because the youth conference is held at K-State, many of the classes also offer an opportunity for youth to explore potential career opportunities.

Special guest and motivational speaker this year will be Calvin Terrell.

Terrell, who is a native of St. Louis, Mo., is widely recognized for his keen insight into the cultural diversity in today's world. As the capstone speaker for the 2009 conference, Terrell will speak about cultural differences, human rights, leadership, and citizenship.

The youth conference schedule also will include a get-acquainted social with Call Hall ice cream; luau; talent show, and two dances.

The cost to attend Discovery Days is $160 per person and includes registration and conference materials, classes (unless otherwise noted, when a small fee may be charged for materials or admission); lodging for three nights, meals, refreshment breaks, and an event t-shirt.

The deadline for registration is April 15; the event is planned by Kansas 4-H.

Interest in 4-H events is increasing, said Wiebers, who attributed at least some of the growing interest to the current economy.

"4-H programs are known to offer educational value at a low cost," said Wiebers, who noted that attendance at 4-H Citizenship in Action, which was held in Topeka in February, was 235, nearly double the number who attended last year.

For registration or more information, go to www.Kansas4-H.org or contact the county or district K-State Research and Extension office.

Early registration is recommended, as classes are expected to fill quickly, Wiebers said.

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