By enrolling in a 4-H project, you are given the opportunity to explore a specific area of interest. Members have the opportunity to learn more about a subject matter through completing hands on activities. In order to enroll in a project, members must sign up for them through the 4HOnline enrollment system. Each project has a manual that guides the youth through the learning process as well as a set of guidelines that helps them meet the project requirements. Each project has a beginner, intermediate, and advanced level; this allows youth to build on their knowledge each year and continue to challenge their skills. Projects are meant to be worked on over time, providing an educational opportunity for youth outside of the classroom setting. Often times, youth will exhibit and display their project at a local fair in order to show the community what they have learned.
Learning about a 4-H project is fun - it involves meeting others that share your interest, engaging in hands-on experiences that allow you to learn by doing, going on field trips, participating in events that test your skills, and much more. All projects also provide opportunities to develop your record keeping, community service, leadership, career options, and presentation skills. Please check out our many topic options below.
There is no limit to the number of projects youth can sign up for, however, we suggest starting out with one or two your first year. If you know what project(s) you are looking for, simply find it listed under a specific category listed below, or download this 1-pager.
Citizenship and Civic Education
Citizenship (local, state, national)
Understanding Physical and Mental Limits
Communications and Expressive Arts
Arts and Crafts
Drawing, Painting, Sculpture
Graphic Arts, Displays, Exhibits
Consumer and Family Sciences
Child Development, Child Care, Babysitting
Clothing and Textiles
Parenting and Family Life Education
Environmental Education and Earth Science
Earth, Water, and Air
Geology and Minerals
Weather and Climate
Soils and Soil Conservation
Energy (general, home, farm, transportation)
Forests, Rangeland, and Wildlife
Wildlife and Fisheries
Household Hazardous Waste
Healthy Lifestyle Education
Mental and Emotional Health
Foods and Nutrition
Fitness and Sports
Growth, Development and Disease
Home Nursing, First Aid/CPR
Communities for Child Safety
Tractor and Machine Safety Certification
Personal Development and Leadership
Career Exploration and Employability
Critical Thinking Skills
Economics, Business, and Marketing
Introductory 4-H Projects (5-8 yrs)
Hobbies and Collections
Leadership Skills Development
Youth and Adult Partnerships
Leisure Education (general)
Personal Development (general)
Social Recreation Skills
Plants and Animals
Ag in the Classroom
Birds and Poultry
Raising Guide Dogs
Goats (dairy, hair, meat)
Small Lap Animals, Pets
Alpacas and Llamas
Emus and Ostriches
Gardens - Fruit/Vegetable
Junior Master Gardener
Science and Technology
Entomology and Bees
Technology and Engineering
A self-determined project (created by you) allows YOU to decide:
- What you want to learn
- What you want to do, and
- How you want to share what you learn.
Yes, you can focus your interests and passions to design projects that are not included in the 4-H project list. You can get help from others and BE CREATIVE!
If you are already enrolled for this 4-H project, then get started! If you haven't signed up yet, go to your ZSuite enrollment, and choose "self-determined" from the project pull down menu.
Create Your Project
A 4-H project includes all the learning and activities that you do in one subject area during the entire year. It includes citizenship activities, leadership activities, and communication activities along with learning about your interests.
Follow these easy steps to create your project!
Step 1: Define topic. "I would like to learn about..." or "I would like to learn how to..."
Step 2: Gather and evaluate information. "I can get information on this topic from..." Remember to keep a record of useful web sites and other information sources. Identify who is responsible for the information. The web address can help you identify the kind of organization responsible for the website:
--An educational institution is indicated by .edu
--Those with .gov are funded by a government agency.
--Professional organizations, such as scientific or research societies, are identified by .org
Step 3: Determine action. What will you do? What do you want to do with the information?
Step 4: Design an action plan. "To reach my goal by the deadline I set, I need to...."
Step 5: Anticipate roadblocks. What might you need to do differently?
Step 6: List all the things you do for your project.
Step 7: Evaluate. Did you reach your goal in the timeline you set? Why? Why not? What was easy? What was hard? What did you learn?
Step 8: Share what you've learned with someone else. "I will share what I learned by...."
Step 9: Tell someone else. "I shared what I learned by...."
Step 10: Celebrate!
(Thank you to Iowa State Extension 4-H for these excellent guidelines!)
All motivated youth are able to create a self-determined project if they wish. Guidelines for how to go about designing and implementing your unique project can be found on our 4-H partner state sites: Iowa 4-H, Colorado 4-H, or North Dakota 4-H.