top of page
outside free time.jpg

2023 4-H Career Explorations


4-H Career Explorations aims to expand possibilities for youth by connecting them to Cornell University; sparking interests in careers and career pathways; developing academic, leadership, and life skills; and providing opportunities to experience college life.

The Conference is made up of two program tracks –  

  • University U: Youth are introduced to Cornell through campus tours and explore a variety of topics in six different departmental workshops. Youth are randomly assigned to these UU programs.

  • Focus for Teens: Youth spend 3 days with a specific department. Youth select their Focus for Teens programs and programs are filled first-come, first-serve. 

Quick Facts

Dates: Tuesday, June 27 to Thursday, June 29, 2023

Location: Cornell University

Arrival: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM on Tuesday

Departure: 1:00 PM on Thursday

Cost: $350 per youth and $350 per chaperone

Registration: Information available April 1, opens April 19, closes May 15

Open to all NYS youth entering 8th grade and up.

Program Tracks:

University U: teens entering 8th grade and up

Focus for Teens: teens entering 10th grade and up


Contact the Event Coordinator with questions and feedback.

What's New

Thank you for a wonderful event!​

  • Feedback survey - tell us about your experience and help improve future events

Past Career Ex Closing Videos playlist



Tuesday, June 27

FAs and UU Group leaders will have paper copies of program schedules. Please also print a copy if you'd like to have a paper copy with you.

10:00 AM – 12:00 PM    Check In (Robert Purcell Community Center (RPCC)

12:30 PM                        Youth Orientation (outside dorms by program signs)

12:30 PM                        Chaperone Orientation (RPCC 2nd Floor Auditorium)

1:30 PM                          Leave for programs (outside dorms by program signs)

2:00 – 4:30 PM              Focus for Teens programs (see specific group schedule)

2:00 – 3:00 PM              UU Opening  (3rd Floor, RPCC)

3:00 – 4:30 PM              UU Campus Tour

5:00 - 5:30 PM              County Meetings (dorms)

5:30 – 6:30 PM              Dinner (Morrison dining)

7:00 – 8:30 PM              Opening Ceremony (Call Auditorium, Kennedy Hall)

8:30 – 10 PM                  Evening Activities (outside, RPCC, bowling & gym in Helen Newman)

9:00 PM                         Dorms open for youth with their chaperones

10:00 PM                        County Check In – youth must be in dorms!

11:00 PM                         Lights Out

Wednesday, June 28

7:00 – 8:00 AM             Breakfast (Morrison dining)

8:15 AM                         Meet at program signs

8:30 AM                        Leave for programs (program signs)

9:00 AM – 4:30 PM       Programs (see Focus Program & UU schedules)

12:00 – 1:00 PM             Lunch (Physical Sciences Atrium)

5:00 - 5:30 PM              County Meetings (dorms)

5:30 – 6:30 PM              Dinner (Morrison dining)

7:00 – 10:00 PM            Evening Activities (outside, RPCC, pool, bowling & gym in Helen Newman)

9:00 PM                         Dorms open for youth with their chaperones

10:00 PM                        County Check In – youth must be in dorms!

11:00 PM                         Lights Out

Thursday, June 29

7:00 – 8:00 AM            Breakfast (Morrison dining) and Checkout (RPCC)

                                       (Luggage storage available in RPCC 220)

8:15 AM                         Meet at program signs

8:30 AM                        Leave for programs (program signs)

9:00 AM – 12:00 PM     Programs (see Focus Program & UU schedules)

12:15 – 1:15 PM              Closing Ceremony and Farewell (Call Auditorium, Kennedy Hall)


Evening Activities Schedule


8:30 – 10 PM                 Bowling & gym (Helen Newman Hall)

8:30 – 10 PM                 Quiet Lounge (Robert Purcell Community Center Wendy Purcell Lounge, 2nd Floor)

8:30 – 10 PM                 Movie (Robert Purcell Community Center Auditorium, 2nd Floor)

8:30 – 10 PM                 Outdoor Games - weather permitting (Rawlings Green across from Helen Newman Hall)


6:30 - 8:00 PM       CALS & CHE Admissions tabling (Robert Purcell Community Center 1st floor)

7 – 10 PM                 Bowling & gym (Helen Newman Hall)

7 – 7:45 PM             Swimming A (Helen Newman Hall)

8 – 8:45 PM             Swimming B (Helen Newman Hall)

9 – 9:45 PM             Swimming B (Helen Newman Hall)

7 – 10 PM                 Quiet Lounge (Robert Purcell Community Center Wendy Purcell Lounge, 2nd Floor)

7 – 10 PM                 Movie (Robert Purcell Community Center Auditorium, 2nd Floor)

7 – 10 PM                 Outdoor Games - weather permitting (Rawlings Green across from Helen Newman Hall)

8:30 - 9:30 PM        Conversations, Caffeine, and Chocolate with Chaperone Advisors (Wendy Purcell Lounge)  

Map of Activity Locations

Program Leaders

Program Leader Role

Important Dates
  • February 28, 2023: Program proposal due

  • April 14, 2023: Program schedule and logistics finalized

  • End of June: receive participant registration list and confirm final logistics

  • June 26, 2023: Dinner with Focus Assistants

  • June 27-29, 2023: 4-H Career Explorations Conference

Share your program proposal here!

Sparking Future Possibilities


4-H is the Youth Development program of the Cooperative Extension System integrated into each Land Grant University. Since 1922, 4-H has held an annual event for youth on the Cornell campus. 4-H Career Explorations aims to expand possibilities for youth by:

  • Connecting kids to Cornell University

  • Sparking youth interest in careers and career pathways

  • Developing youth academic, leadership, and life skills

  • Providing an opportunity for youth to experience college life

3 fun-filled days on campus divided into 2 tracks:

  • University U (grades 8 through 12) - Cornell Departments offer the same 85-minute workshop to six different groups (about 10-15 youth per group) over a day and a half (all day Wednesday and Thursday morning).

  • Focus for Teens (grades 10-12) - Cornell Departments offer 12 hours of engaging programming over three days to the same group of youth (Tuesday afternoon through Thursday morning). The Program Facilitators set the group size limit.

Leading Programs

Program Leaders create engaging, hands-on learning experiences that connect youth with their work and career pathways.


  • Inspire: share your expertise and inspire interest in different careers.

  • Engage: engage new audiences and try out outreach projects related to your research. 

  • Connect: link research and practice.



  • Communicate with Event Lead about program planning needs; about any participant pre- conference preparation; about activity schedules, locations, and other logistics; and other needs as they arise

  • Create a safe, inclusive learning environment 

  • Engage youth in hands-on learning experiences 

  • Work in partnership with chaperones & Focus Assistants 

  • Talk with youth about your career exploration process and pathways to careers

  • Connect youth to resources for college and careers

  • Support event evaluation efforts



  • Ongoing support from Conference Planning Team 

  • Planning support

  • Financial (if needed): 

    • Focus for Teens: $20 per participant

    • University U: $20 per participant for one average- sized group

  • Adult Chaperones and Focus Assistant teen leaders will help guide group behavior and help with logistics during the event

  • Evaluation and feedback after the event


Time Commitment 

  • University U

    • A 85-minute workshop repeated for 6 different groups over 2 days

    • 4 workshops on Wednesday, 2 on Thursday

  • Focus for Teens

    • 12 hours of activities over 3 days with one group

    • 2.5 hours Tuesday afternoon, 6.5 hours Wednesday, 3 hours Thursday morning

  • Pre-Conference preparation time varies


Program Planning

Delivering High-Quality Programs

The best 4-H Career Explorations programs provide interactive learning experiences by:

  • Providing opportunities for youth to do and experience activities related to careers

  • Connecting young people with professional mentors and role models

  • Sharing personal career pathways and stories

  • Integrating the 4-H Learning Experience

  • Engaging youth in the work of Cornell University and in your work

Program Leader Gatherings

You're invited to connect with leaders from across Cornell who are creating 4-H Career Explorations programs. Each meeting time will include a chance to focus on a different aspect of youth development program planning and also time to share questions and experiences. We'll meet once a month from 3:00 - 3:45 PM March until the event in June.

Meeting slides including links to resources.

  • March 30: An introduction to this year's event and also find out how to be a Spark Champion for youth in your program. Recording.

  • April 20: Learn strategies for creating welcoming spaces where youth feel they can belong. Recording.

  • May 25: Explore ways to create engaging, impactful learning experiences for youth. Recording.

  • June 15: Learn about how partnering with Focus Assistant teen leaders can help create engaging learning experiences

Register here for Zoom connection information

Facilitation Resources


The Conference Planning Team


The Career Explorations Conference Planning Team includes 4-H Educators and Focus Assistant youth leaders from across NY.  There are many different ways you can be part of creating this year’s experience. Check out our Team Roles and Responsibilities to learn more about adult and youth leadership roles.

Educator Opportunities

We’re looking for Educators interested in joining the Career Explorations Planning Team! If you are interested, please email Alexa. Thank you!

Teen Leadership Opportunities

We’re looking for creative and dedicated youth leaders who are excited about helping their peers explore careers and Cornell to join the Career Explorations Conference planning team.

FA Application Invitation.png


Code of Conduct


Our first priority is to create a safe, inclusive space for learning, sharing, and collaboration welcoming to people from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and perspectives. Diversity includes, but is not limited to: race, color, religion, political beliefs, national or ethnic origin, immigration status, sex, gender, gender identity and expression, transgender status, sexual orientation, age, marital or family status, educational level, learning style, physical appearance, body size, protected veterans, and individuals with disabilities. CCE actively supports equal educational and employment opportunities. No person shall be denied admission to any educational program or activity on the basis of any legally prohibited discrimination. CCE is committed to the maintenance of affirmative action programs that will assure the continuation of such equality of opportunity.


All 4-H Participants—youth, families, volunteers, and Extension staff—in or attending any activity or event sponsored by Cornell University’s Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) 4-H Youth Development Program are required to uphold the values of the NYS 4-H program and conduct themselves according to these standards. All participants (youth and adult) will follow the NYS 4-H Code of Conduct.


Any disturbance or emergencies should be reported to a chaperone. Parents/guardians will be contacted if a youth violates the code of conduct and they need to be sent home at their families’ expense. 


Adult chaperones will have the authority to make decisions in the absence of a County 4-H Educator if necessary.  Focus Assistants should be involved in decisions about the group as appropriate. Chaperones will be expected to intervene in any situation that violates the rules of the event or the basic rights of others, including youth from other counties. Any problems with youth from other counties should be dealt with immediately and then reported to the appropriate chaperones, Chaperone Advisors, and the Event Coordinator.




Adults will be assigned a single occupancy room and youth will be assigned double occupancy rooms. Youth cannot switch rooms. Participants are responsible for any damages that occur to the room during their stay. Participants must be in the dormitory by 10:00 PM; lights out at 11:00 PM. 


Program Evaluation


Conference participants will be asked to help us learn about the program effectiveness by completing a survey or sharing their reflections. Participation in program evaluation efforts is completely anonymous, voluntary, and there is no impact on program participation if someone decides not to complete a survey. A participant, parent, or guardian may withdraw consent at any time and a participant may refuse any survey request at any time. Parents and participants give or deny their permission to participate in program evaluation efforts by completing the NYS 4-H Permission Slip.




Photos taken during the program may be used to promote 4-H Youth Development. Parents and participants give or deny their permission to be photographed by completing the NYS 4-H Permission Slip.

Youth Safety


Cornell University is dedicated to creating safe programs for children and youth.  Individuals working with children and youth are required to follow the policy of Children and Youth Safety.

Safety on Campus


Cornell is a large campus with many different summer activities. Serious crimes can and do occur along the footpaths of Cornell, despite the idyllic setting. A caution to all:

  • NEVER walk alone, especially after dark!

  • Dorm room doors should be locked at all times – always have your keys with you! If you get locked out of your room, call (607) 255-2288

  • Under no circumstances should youth leave the dorm at night and should never be alone on campus

  • Chaperones need to be in attendance for all programs, assemblies, free-time activities, County meetings, and on call all night

  • During free-time activities, if County participants split up, a Chaperone must accompany each of the groups (any Chaperone). Dorms are off limits during the day, except with a Chaperone

  • All participants must be back in their dorms by 10 PM. Lights out at 11 PM


The Cornell Department of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) asks you to help Cornell promote and maintain a safe learning environment by remembering the following:

  • Be aware of all potential hazards - If you are unsure whether something is dangerous or not, ASK QUESTIONS!!

  • Follow all instructions given by your program leader. They will provide safety training that you need for your specific program.

  • If you will work in a laboratory:

    • Wear the right clothes! Long pants and closed toed shoes.

    • Wear lab coats, gloves, and safety goggles as instructed - This is equipment for your personal protection!

  • Look out for the words like DANGER, WARNING and other symbols on doors, equipment, and containers - This means there is a potential hazard nearby.

  • IF THERE IS AN EMERGENCY - Notify your program leader or a nearby chaperone. IF a chaperone is not nearby, call the 911.

  • Examples of emergencies include: fires, injury or illness, large chemical spills, and other situations where someone can get hurt.


Chaperones, program leaders, and instructors can contact EHS at 607-255-8200 or with specific questions or concerns.

NYS 4-H is committed to the health and safety of all youth and adults. COVID-19 is one of many viruses that surrounds us. Given its ease of transmission, special precautions should be taken. Face masks are required in healthcare facilities. In other settings, the choice to wear a face mask is a personal one, and no one should be made to feel uncomfortable because of their choice. All event participants will follow Cornell University’s guidance for events and visitors, which may change between the time you register and arrive at the event. Please keep an eye on this event website and information for visitors for the most current guidance.

Reporting Incidents and Illnesses


Report any illness, accident, or incident to an adult Chaperone immediately. If you feel unwell, please contact the nurse. If you develop symptoms consistent with COVID-19, please contact the event nurse and do not attend the conference until you test negative.


Please follow the NYS 4-H Crisis Action Plan and Career Explorations Communication Tree (shared with Chaperones at Chaperone Orientation) to report these incidents to event leadership. Additional emergency preparedness resources available from Cornell Emergency Management.

Importance of Nametags


All 4-H Career Ex participants must wear their identification nametag around their necks throughout the event. The nametags will enable participants to seek emergency care or assistance throughout campus, enter the dining hall, and allow 4-H Staff and Cornell program presenters to identify Conference participants.

Cell Phones


Please turn off or keep cell phones on silent during programs. Lead Chaperones, University U Group Leaders, and Focus Assistants will have their phones on silent in case of emergency. If you need to make a call during a program because of an emergency, please go out into the hallway or away from the group to not interrupt the program.

Image by Solen Feyissa


Participants need to register with the local 4-H Youth Development program through the county Cornell Cooperative Extension Office. Registration will close on May 15 or when programs are full, whichever happens first. This can occur before May 15.

To register, all adult chaperones (CCE staff and volunteers), need to complete the Career Explorations Chaperone Event Registration Form.  This form collects the information and permissions we need for Cornell Risk Management policy and procedures and also for event logistics.

Youth participants will complete a printable registration form, which they will give to their local CCE 4-H Youth Development program to be entered into the online CCE Event Registration form. Youth and their families complete the online Cornell Parental/Guardian Consent and Release Agreement form.

Downloadable Materials, including:

  • Printable Registration forms for youth available in English and Spanish

  • Flyers

Housing Agreement Form - all youth and chaperones complete this to stay in the dorms

Youth Forms

Online Registration - completed by staff​

Cornell Parental/Guardian Consent and Release Agreement - completed by families

Adult Forms

Chaperone Registration Form


  • $350 per participant to cover room, board, and program.

  • Early Arrival/Late Departure costs

    • Double Room per night - $68

    • Single Room per night - $88

    • Breakfast: $7

    • Lunch: $12

    • Dinner: $13


Please let us know on the registration form if your county plans to arrive on campus early. Youth arriving early must have a chaperone for the early arrival time, too (we provide chaperones for Focus Assistants). Contact the Event Coordinator to make special arrangements.

Please note: Registration fees and transportation to and from the event is at the participant’s own expense. Some CCE Associations charge youth additional fees to cover transportation & chaperone expenses. Some CCE Associations have scholarship funds to support youth participation. Contact your local office for more information.


Note for CCE Associations: Counties will be billed directly for the registration fee and any additional room and board fees as applicable.



Scholarship applications are due at the time of registration, or no later than May 1. To apply for a full or partial youth scholarship, please complete the scholarship section of the Registration Form. Scholarships are limited and will be awarded to qualified applicants through a competitive review process.


Cancellation Policy

Cancellations prior to June 9 will not be charged. Cancellations after June 9 will be billed a $100.00 cancellation fee. Same program replacements are allowed, but need to be registered before arrival at the conference. No-shows will be charged in full.




Counties are expected to provide chaperones in about a 1 to 6 ratio for teens attending. Chaperones may be shared with other counties. Every participant must have a designated chaperone. The state office needs to know about multi-county groups that need to be housed together. The chaperone registration fee is the same as for youth. Chaperones will be expected to supervise youth from other counties during program times and while supervising evening social activities.


Lead Educator

Each County Association must designate a CCE staff person as the Lead Educator for their group attending a state event. This person must attend the state event. The Lead Educator will be the main contact for your county group during the event. They will be responsible for supervising Chaperones from your Association during the event. If there is a situation that arises with a youth or adult participant from your Association, event staff will work with the Lead Educator to resolve the situation. 


Chaperone and Youth Orientation

Specific information about program schedules, preparation to attend, and expectations at the event will be available on the the event website by early May. All chaperones and participants should review this information prior to coming to Career Explorations. We strongly encourage 4-H Educators to hold an orientation meeting to review this information before coming to campus.

4-H Career Explorations Chaperones are critical to the success of the conference! Your role throughout the whole Conference is to model and help everyone live up to the 4-H Code of Conduct in order to ensure that everyone has a safe and positive experience. 


Preparing to Chaperone

In addition to Cornell Cooperative Extension's Volunteer Involvement Policy & Procedures, staff and volunteer chaperones for NYS 4-H Events are supporting and upholding Children and Youth Safety at Cornell policy and procedures, including related Risk Management and Volunteer Program policies. 

CCE staff and volunteer chaperones (adults who are not a Cornell University employee) need to complete these steps:

  • Complete the Career Explorations Chaperone Event Registration Form, which includes the Description of Services, Profile, Agreement, and Assumption of Risk forms.  

  • Cornell University Risk Management conducts a Criminal Background check and sex offender search 

  • Complete CULearn courses RMI 101- Protecting Children: Identifying and Reporting Sexual Misconduct and RMI 103-Boundary Training for Educators and then submit the course completion certificate.

  • Understand policy and reporting requirements 

Cornell University employee chaperones need to complete these steps:

  • Submit Cornell University HR background check date 

  • Complete CULearn courses RMI 101- Protecting Children: Identifying and Reporting Sexual Misconduct and RMI 103-Boundary Training for Educators and then submit the course completion certificate.

  • Understand policy and reporting requirements ​

More details about the training requirements and support resources are available in the NYS 4-H Statewide Events online course. 

During the Event

Safety and Responding to Incidents

In every situation, safety is a primary concern. Please review the Expectations section for overall preparation. Lab and activity safety information will also be shared by campus partners within your program. The Nurse will be available throughout Career Explorations. FAs and UU Group Leaders will have small first aid kits. An incident and crisis response plan, including phone numbers for main contacts, will be shared during Chaperone Orientation. Please help everyone remain calm and follow the event communication tree.

SafeR Spaces

We will use a variety of strategies to work in partnership with youth and adults to create a welcoming environment for all. If you are having challenges in this area during the event or have suggestions for improvement to share, please look for the 4-H SafeR Spaces sign and event leaders wearing the 4-H SafeR Spaces shirt “Mobile SafeR Space” to find someone to talk with. Individuals wearing a Mobile SafeR Space shirt are trained in handling incidents related to exclusion, bias or harassment. If anyone feels their identity or safety is not being respected, they can connect with these individuals as allies who are ready and able to provide support and resources to manage the situation. 


  • Check all rooms upon arrival and departure; report any new damages.

  • Make sure youth know where their chaperones’ rooms are.

  • Dorm floors are not unisex – all genders may enter all floors.

  • Youth should only go in their own rooms, not other people’s. They can hang out with friends and others in common areas.

  • Bathrooms will not be designated for a particular gender. A county may choose to do that if participants would be more comfortable.

  • Youth should not be in the dorm during the evening activity period until the scheduled evening dorm opening. Youth may go back to the dorms starting at 9 pm BUT must be accompanied by their chaperone between 9 – 10 pm.

  • Chaperones can organize a time for youth to access the dorms during county meeting time, following or preceding dinner or before evening activities.

  • Chaperone swipe cards give you access to enter the dorm buildings; youth only have room keys. Doors will lock automatically when shut, so everyone should keep their room keys with them – even to nighttime bathroom runs. The lock out number is on the Communication Tree.

  • Check out is Thursday morning 6:30 - 8 AM on the second floor of RPCC. BE SURE ALL KEYS ARE TURNED IN. Counties will be charged for any keys not returned.

  • Plan to load luggage into vehicles or bring them to the luggage storage room (room 220 on 2nd floor RPCC) during check out.



  • The meal cards in your packets get you into Morrison Dining hall. Do not lose them. Once you enter the dining hall, there is no re-entry – make sure your group knows this!

  • Have youth scope out all the different options in the dining hall before they make decisions on what to take. It is easy to take more than they can eat. Please emphasize that they shouldn’t waste food. They can go back for seconds, but the dining hall is not a food challenge!

  • On Wednesday, everyone will go to Physical Sciences Clark & Baker Atrium for lunch. 

  • Special dietary needs – at lunch on Wednesday, please ask. We will have special foods for those with dietary restrictions. At the dining hall, ask any Manager for help with special needs and they will prepare special meals as needed. There is a gluten-free toaster and other supplies.

Program Activities

  • T-shirts are handed out at registration. Shirts can be worn for county picture. We'd like to invite everyone to wear their Career Ex shirts on Thursday.

  • Meet your Focus or University U group at the designated signs outside near the dorms.

    • Your Focus Assistants and UU Group Leaders will be there to meet you.

    • Most people should plan to get to program signs by 8:30 AM, but pay attention to your program itinerary as starting times vary. Please be on time to leave with your group.

    • There will be people in that area to help in case anyone is late and misses their group.

    • While most everyone will be walking to their programs, there will also be a shuttle service for people 
      who have transportation needs.

  • If you take photos of the event, please share them with the Planning Team. We’ll use collected photos for the Closing Ceremony Video. Please also take a picture of your group that we can include in the Closing Video. You can find information on how to share your photos here.

  • Please bring your group to Opening Ceremony.

  • Focus Assistants and University U Group Leaders will bring everyone to Closing Ceremony immediately following the end of programs on Thursday. We hope everyone will attend this important part of the program for the youth.

    • Please return name tag holders at Closing Ceremony.

  • Evaluation data is very important to us and to campus partners. Please look for the post-event online survey that will be sent to you and your group after the conference.

  • Call the Event Coordinator if there is a problem (refer to communication tree).

  • If a youth or adult needs to leave campus, notify the Event Coordinator.

  • Career Explorations is a full event – please take time to take care of yourself and help your group do the same! Hydrate, rest, and be kind to others, it’s contagious!

County and Group Meetings

An evening County meeting is a required activity, although the length is at Chaperone’s discretion. Each County can choose a comfortable lounge within dorms where the Chaperones will facilitate the County meetings. There is time scheduled for County meetings before dinner. County meetings should include:

  • Taking attendance.

  • Reflection on the day's activities, what was learned, and any concerns

  • Reviewing the next day’s activities with the group. Please be sure youth are familiar with:

    • Breakfast times and meeting locations

    • Your County’s regrouping time and place at the end of the day.


Reflection and evaluation is an important process that allows participants to think about and give immediate feedback on the day’s experiences. It can be a fun way to reconnect with each other. 

County and Group Meeting Suggested Agenda

Connection Activities ( - activities to help us intentionally create a welcoming space.

Evening Roles and Responsibilities


(schedule and more information in Campus Life section)

General Duties

The key to all of the evening roles is that we want to encourage all participants to engage in the free time evening activities, have fun, and stay safe. The goal of the event is to engage in exploring careers, enjoy the college experience, and make new friends, and therefore these experiences are about relationship building. Your role will ultimately involve encouraging 4-Hers, Educators, and volunteers to participate in the evening activities of their choice, even if they rotate through multiple activities.


Note: 4-H youth are not allowed to use the computer lab on the second floor of Robert Purcell Community Center. Also, no one should be in the dorms during the evening activity period.


There may be youth in the building from other summer programs. If there are youth that are not from our conference who are causing problems, please contact your Lead Educator or the Chaperone Advisors.

If youth want to go to the Cornell Store or Bear Necessities (located on the lower level of RPCC) they need to be accompanied by an adult and numbers in the store at one time need to be limited.

You have a team of Educators and volunteer Chaperones to support you throughout this event. If you feel conflict escalating in a situation, please call in another Chaperone for help and step away as necessary. Reminder – all challenging behaviors must be communicated to your Lead Chaperone.

If you run into any problems, please call the Chaperone Advisors (contact information is on the event communication tree).

Evening Role Schedule

  • The supervision schedule with your specific role will be emailed to you before you arrive on campus and posted here.

  • It is fine to switch duties with someone, but you are responsible for making sure your assignment is covered. Please make sure you let the Chaperone Advisors know, too.

  • Please end activities in time for teens to get back to the dorm by 10:00 PM.


Youth should not be in the dorm during the evening activity period. There is not a good way to supervise youth in the dorm in a way that assures safety and appropriate behavior for all during this time. At no time should an adult and youth be alone together in the dorm. Your job as a dorm chaperone is to explain to youth they cannot enter the dorm. If there is a special case and you have questions, you may call the chaperone coordinator or a conference coordinator. If a youth needs to take a shower, you can send them to Helen Newman Hall (they will need their own towel and soap, and a change of clothes).


Outdoor Games
(Rawlings Green across from Helen Newman)

Make sure that participants play safely, play fair, and be a team player. There is no skateboarding allowed in this common space. Please make sure all trash and equipment is removed upon departure. Soccer, volleyball, and Frisbee are all good uses of this outdoor space. Showers are available in Helen Newman.

quiet lounge.png

Quiet Lounge
(RPCC Wendy Purcell Lounge, 2nd Floor)

The Wendy Purcell Lounge is available for those youth who prefer a quiet space to relax and re-energize. Quiet activities include reading, journaling, quiet board games, or computer work.

movie lounge.png

(RPCC Auditorium)

We will have a Netflix subscription for movies. Details will be shared to the chaperones in charge.


Bowling  (Helen Newman Hall)

Your role is to help youth have fun. Direct youth to the lanes; make sure that they follow the rules of the bowling center (for example, no playing above the marked sections of the lanes as lanes can be very slippery). Help youth act in a safe manner. Finally, there are typically five people per lane but this rule may be relaxed since we have a large group.


Make sure that youth adhere to the rules of the games they choose. If you observe unsafe or unfair behavior be proactive and have a conversation with that young person (if it happens more than once, ask them to choose a different activity). At the end of the night once the gym is closed, direct youth to return to their dorms.


Swimming Pool (Helen Newman Hall)

A limited number of youth can swim at one time. Youth need to sign up for a specific swim time.  Chaperones will be provided with a list of who signed up.

Make sure youth walk on the pool deck; no running under any circumstances. When the lifeguard blows their whistle more than once about behavior, be proactive and have a conversation with the youth (if it happens often, ask them to choose a different activity). Also monitor the locker and shower areas (youth may come in just to use showers). 

Pool Rules

Preparing to Come to Campus

Packing Suggestions


Below are some things you should pack to bring with you for the conference. Be prepared to deal with hot June temperatures or occasional cool rainy weather. Also, retail outlets and dining facilities on campus do not accept cash. You may want to pack prepaid cards for purchases just in case. 


Consider bringing the following:

  • Comfortable walking shoes (there is a lot of walking)

  • Clothing suited for the activity you will participate in.

    • Casual pants, shorts, shirts and tops.

    • Sweater, sweatshirt or jacket

    • Swimsuit and towel (if swimming)

  • Raincoat and/or umbrella

  • Sunscreen

  • Hand sanitizer 

  • Face masks

  • Alarm clock

  • Fan (there is not air conditioning in the dorms)

  • Spending money

  • Review program packing suggestions, such as long pants or closed shoes (see Program information)

  • County name sign

  • Camera

Getting to Campus

Directions to Cornell
Please consult the Cornell campus map available through your Cooperative Extension Office and on the Cornell website to find the best way to get to and around Cornell University and to get to your dorm.

Check-in will at Robert Purcell Community Center (RPCC). Once on campus there will be signs to help direct you to Check-In and unloading areas. 


There is no parking on central campus during the event. Association and personal cars must be left in the designated North Campus lot. Vehicles with “official” plates may park on campus in eligible parking spaces without additional fees being assessed. Parking permits will be available at registration. If you need accessible parking, please notify the state office in advance.

Parking Map.png

On campus early or staying later?


Walking Tours Visitor Relations is the front door to exploring Cornell’s Ithaca campus, providing information and tours. The Martin Y. Tang Welcome Center is open to visitors Monday through Friday 8 AM to 5 PM and Saturdays from 8 AM to 3 PM. Visitor Relations staff are available to assist and answer general questions via (607) 254-4636 (INFO) or Virtual tours are also available.

Here are some fun places and popular sites to see. 

McGraw Tower (the Clock Tower) – Probably the most noted landmark on campus at Cornell, McGraw Tower has 21 chimes, which play three times throughout the day. Climbing 161 stairs to the top is definitely a great

Sage Chapel – Built in 1873, this chapel was designed by Charles Babcock, Cornell’s first professor of Architecture. The intricate decorations and design of Sage Chapel is breathtaking!

The Arts Quad – Many Cornell students enjoy warm summer days walking though and/or studying in this safe haven. It is home to the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning. While you’re there be sure to check out the Whispering Wall near Goldwin-Smith, say “hi” to Uncle Ezra and A.D. White, and see the Libe Slope Overlook behind McGraw Tower.

The Cornell Store – Cornell has an underground bookstore on two floors. Be sure to check it out and take home some cool Cornell apparel. Hours 8:00am-5:00pm. For more information, visit

Ho Plaza – Ho Plaza is Cornell’s town square and home to the Cornell Store. It is here that Cornell students make their voices heard and express new ideas. Be sure to stop by Willard Straight to see the Great Hall. See if you can find the carving of the architect’s least favorite professor (Hint: He is picking his nose).

Cornell Botanic Gardens – A great place to relax on a summer afternoon, the Botanic Gardens offers trails throughout the gorges and among flower gardens. Most easily accessed from the path behind Mann Library and Fernow Hall, the summer gardens and Arboretum are a favorite with Cornell Students. 

Beebe Lake – Take a short nature hike through campus, to see beautiful waterfalls. This trail goes around the lake and is accessible by the Botanic Gardens or the back path behind MVR.

Beauty and Brains – Starting at Bailey Plaza, take a stroll to the AD White Gardens, down to Uris Garden and over to the 2nd floor of Uris Hall. Smell the flowers, gaze at the fine (and not so fine) architecture, and view the brains of geniuses and criminals.

Cornell Dairy Bar – The Dairy Bar at Stocking Hall is stocked with all your favorite flavors of Cornell ice cream. Enjoy an ice cream cone and take a stroll outside of the plant. You might even be able to watch them making your dessert!

Johnson Museum of Art –To learn more visit the museum website.

Campus Life



Your group needs to arrive between 10 AM and 12 PM. on Tuesday. Orientations start at 12:30 PM, so you may find arriving by 11:30 AM gives you more time to settle into dorms before getting started with event activities.

Check-in is at Robert Purcell Community Center.

sorted shirts and bottles Career Ex.jpg

The first Chaperone to arrive from each group should be prepared to check in all of their group's participants. Participants who arrive later will receive their event materials from this Chaperone.

If you are the first (or designated) Chaperone to arrive from your group:

  • If you haven't already received your parking passing, please look for the Career Explorations Planning Team member with parking permits (note: official vehicles don't need parking permits). Get your parking permit and park in the conference lot. Come into the front lobby of RPCC.

    • Only one Chaperone should come to the check-in table. Youth can remain with the vehicle and other chaperone(s).

    • A Focus Assistant (FA) will greet you on your way in.

  • What to bring inside

    • Your group members should have already sent in consent forms, so you shouldn’t have to bring anything.

    • Chaperones may want to retain a set of consent forms for your group just in case.

  • You will be given a packet for your group that includes:

    • 4-H Career Exploration conference information and name tags

    • Room assignments/keys/meal tickets (you will get this from Conference Services)

    • T-shirts and water bottles

After Check-In

After receiving the Check-In packet, the Chaperone please return to your group and have a brief meeting including the following:

  • A review of the program rules and regulations

  • Hand out program schedules, name tags, meal cards, and keys (reminders of keeping keys and name tags safe and with them at all times!)

  • Review of room assignments, including where the Chaperone rooms are located (only adults should have access to outside doors)

  • Set a time to meet at the designated regrouping area after unpacking, and place to meet before dinner

When the Check-In materials have been shared with your group, unload your vehicles, and park in the conference parking lot before finding your rooms and unpacking.

Finding Your Rooms

Conference Services has made every effort to set up the room assignments in blocks by group. If you have any concerns about room assignments, please speak with the Conference Services Staff.

Prepare your group for the first activities of the Conference:

  • Chaperones need to be in the RPCC Auditorium at 12:30 PM for Chaperone Orientation.

  • Youth need to be at the green outdoor space in by your program signs at 12:30 PM for Youth Orientation (you will see program signage).

Dormitory Housing

  • This year we will be staying in Hu Shih Hall

  • Chaperones will be assigned single-occupancy rooms. Youth will be assigned double-occupancy rooms and cannot switch rooms.

  • Participants should hang out in common areas, not dorm rooms. Only youth who are assigned to a room should be in that room. Please use lounges, dining areas, and other designated activity areas to spend time with friends.

  • Please use hair dryers in the bathrooms only.

  • Linens are provided with rooms including sheets, pillow and pillowcase, one blanket, one towel, one washcloth, and soap. You will have to bring your own towels for the pool.

hu shih hall.jfif

Keep the door to your room locked at all times to keep yourself and your belongings safe. Please be careful not to lock yourself out of your dorm rooms. Doors close and lock automatically. Have your key with you at all times. If you get locked out of your room, call the lockout number on the Communication Tree. Only Chaperones will have key cards to get into the dorms, so all youth must be accompanied by an adult to enter the dorm.


Chaperones need to check their delegate’s rooms at the time of arrival and departure. If there are problems with the rooms (i.e. light bulbs burnt out), contact Conference Services immediately so that problem can be resolved or noted. Please also contact Conference Services if problems arise during the conference. Damages not reported that are found at the end of the program will be charged to the County occupying the room. Also make note of any room/key changes.

Check Out: RPCC, Thursday 6:00 AM - 8:00 AM

Please have everything out of your rooms before your programs on Thursday. Make sure you double-check your room to ensure that no belongings are left behind. If you don’t have a vehicle to put luggage in on Thursday morning, you can store your belongings in room 220 in RPCC on the second floor.
Chaperones should check all rooms for damage and collect all room keys. Any damages not reported to 4-H Career Exploration staff on Tuesday will be charged to the County. After collecting keys, place them in the envelope you received at Check-In, and turn the envelope into the Conference Services staff. Please be sure all keys are collected, as there will be significant fees for keys not turned in.


  • This year we will be dining in Morrison Dining hall. There are lots of wonderful meal choices available - plan on exploring before making your choices! The eatery is a buffet; please take only what you will eat.

  • There are also small kitchenettes in the dorm if you'd like to bring snacks, etc.

  • Youth should go to meals with an adult.

  • Please let us know any dietary needs when you register. We’ll make every effort to accommodate dietary needs. Please also make sure Chaperones are aware of your needs.

morrison dining.jpg
  • Dinner on Tuesday through breakfast on Thursday is included with your registration.

  • You can purchase additional meals from the dining on the Early Arrival/Late Departure section of the registration form. Please note: Bear Necessities, the small convenience store in Robert Purcell Community Center, gets full fast. If you'd like to eat on North Campus on Tuesday, please purchase meals in the dining hall through your registration form.

Walking (lots of walking)

Walking is the primary form of transportation to activities. 4-H Focus Assistants will lead participants to their program or bus pickup every morning. Any other necessary transportation will be arranged by the program you are attending. If there are special transportation needs, please be sure to notify the Event Coordinator in advance of the 4-H Career Explorations Conference. Walking is a part of the college experience. We hope you enjoy the beautiful campus and some healthy exercise - so wear sneakers or comfortable walking shoes!


Be on time and prepared to walk about 15-20 minutes to your program destinations. Program gathering and departure times will be listed on the event website within the itineraries for each specific program. Please be aware departure times may vary for specific programs.

In the event of a thunderstorm, or if other transportation needs arise, participants may ride the TCAT buses which travel on campus, at their own expense ($1.50 one way—remember to have cash on hand). Buses come about every 10 minutes. Most participants will need to catch the TCAT 81 bus that travels through campus and to the RPCC area. Chaperones should accompany youth on the bus.


Please take care of yourself and each other while on campus. Even though Cornell has a rather tranquil setting, serious crimes can and do occur along its pleasant footpaths.

  • Youth should never walk alone anywhere on campus at any time.

  • Dorm doors should be locked at all times.

  • Under no circumstances should youth leave the dorm at night.

  • The Safety Division’s (Cornell police) phone number is 607-255-1111.



Chaperones will receive the incident response plan and a list of campus emergency numbers during orientation.


Getting enough sleep helps you have a fun and meaningful 4-H Career Explorations experience. Dorms open at 9:00 PM. Everyone (youth and adults) is expected to be in the dorms by 10:00 PM and at 11:00 PM it’s time for lights out.

Campus Wi-Fi

For information on connecting to campus wi-fi please visit this website.

Photos and Social Media: #4HCareerEx23

Counties and groups, please take photos of your group and share them for the Closing Video. Please share pictures of your Career Explorations experience during program and social activities, too! You can share your photos by uploading them here.

Free Time and Recreation

Evening activities are offered as a time to rest, have fun, and meet people from around the state. There are several options including movies, bowling, swimming, outdoor games, and more. There will also be a lounge for reading and quiet relaxation. You may want to bring items like Frisbees, soccer balls, footballs, etc. to use during your free time outside.


Chaperones will be assigned to supervise one of the free time activities. All participants are expected to participate in some form of evening activity with adult supervision and should not be in the dorm before 9:00 pm.  If a youth needs to go to the dorm for any reason they need to be accompanied by an adult.

A few things to remember for activities in Helen Newman Hall:

  • No food or beverage, only water in non-glass containers in gym and pool.

  • Must have athletic shoes for gymnasium floor, no bare feet or stocking feet due to safety.

  • In the pool: need to do a swim test that consists of swimming the width of the pool unassisted. Must have appropriate swimwear and bring own towels. More pool rules here.

outside free time.jpg

Evening Activity times in the Schedule

University U Programs

Youth entering into grades 8 and up are invited to sign up for University U. You will participate in a random selection of 6 different programs from the programs described here.

A Universe of All Sizes: Chemical Engineering All Around Us 

Universe of all sizes.png

Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering 


Ever wonder how computer chips are made? Or what makes ice cream so good? Or how antibiotics work? Chemical Engineers explore these phenomena every day to try to solve problems with modern day medical challenges and the creation of specialized materials. In our laboratory, come explore how nanoparticles and polymers can be used to improve drug development and materials. Students will make nanoparticles and polymers and explore their material and biological applications. We will also discuss the diverse set of careers for chemical engineers, ranging from the petroleum industry, to healthcare, to microelectronics, and even the food industry. 


Packing Suggestions: Closed toed shoes are recommended.  

Get the Gist of Saving and Grow Money for Your Future

Gist of Saving.png

Laboratory for Rational Decision Making – Human Development


Do you want to save money? We can help you save for what you want and need. Saving money is an essential skill that requires people to delay gratification for a future goal. In the Laboratory for Rational Decision Making, we study decisions people make about risk such as the choices people make about spending or saving money. We developed this program, which is based on research from our lab, to help people make better decisions about saving money. Throughout the interactive workshop, participants will learn essential principles or gists for saving money and apply it to their own lives by discussing and reflecting on their wants and needs and writing down plans for achieving their saving goals. 

Packing Suggestions: Bring your cell phones.

gist of savings.png

4-H Career Explorations is an opportunity to experience campus life and connect with the work of Cornell University, part of which includes research. The leaders of this program are doing research to better understand how to help youth improve their decision making about saving money. Youth in these groups are invited to participate in this research.


How this will work is that each youth who participates in the research project will be asked to take a survey before the program begins and then again after the program ends. If you are interested in participating in the research project, adult caregivers should please fill out the parental consent form. You can fill out the form online and a printable version is also available.


Choosing to participate in this study is completely voluntary and doesn’t impact your participation in Career Explorations at all. Youth will be able to participate in the “Get the Gist of Saving” program if they choose to participate in the study and if they choose not to participate in the study.

Contact: Allison Hermann at or (607) 255-7735.

Mechanics of Metamaterials - Changing Properties by Changing Structure 


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering 


Mechanical engineers work on a diverse range of problems, from making things move to studying how heat works.  One exciting part of mechanical engineering is studying how materials behave when forces are applied.  Many different materials are used in our daily lives, such as metals, glass, and plastics.  Each of these materials works differently from others because of their unique features on a really small (atomic) scale. A new type of material called metamaterials, have behavior instead based on patterned geometries at a micrometer to millimeter scale. This program will introduce you to mechanical testing of materials and to metamaterials using interactive activities. You will test different 3D printed metamaterials and brainstorm ideas for your own designs. 

Digging the Johnson: Archaeology and the Ancient World 


Johnson Museum of Art 


Explore the worlds of ancient China, Egypt and Mexico through objects in the collection of the Johnson Museum of Art. Learn about archaeology and museum careers and create your own sculpture inspired by the tomb goods we'll see in the studio. 

SkinKit: A Construction Kit for On-Skin Interface Prototyping 


Human Centered Design 


Learn about wearable technology and create your own on-skin devices in this maker program. SkinKit is an on-skin prototyping toolkit that has plug-and-play construction with pre-programmed modules you can use to DIY your own wearables.

Food, Fitness & Fun

Food and Fitness.png

Department of Nutrition Sciences: Food and Nutrition Education in Communities


The Food and Nutrition Education in Communities (FNEC) team will share nutrition information, provide opportunities for physical activity through inclusive games, and involve the youth in recipe preparation and food sampling. 

Packing Suggestions: Clothes to be physically active, water, safe sneakers

The tiniest things are SO COOL: Exploring nanotechnology 

Explore nanotechnology.png

Cornell NanoScale Facility 


The nanoscale world is too small to see, but that doesn't stop us from using all sorts of cool nanotechnologies. Learn how nano-engineers make the tiniest possible machines. Explore some of the unexpected properties of the nano light that is powerful enough to grab and hold a bead! 

Horse Guts and Math


Animal Science    


This is a hands on activity teaching youth about the Equine Digestive system, its functions and how large it is.


Packing Suggestions: Closed toe shoes.

UU Group Schedules

General University U Schedule

Tuesday – all UU groups together 

2:00-3:00 PM    UU Opening program (3rd Floor, RPCC) 
3:00-4:30 PM     Campus Tour (Leave from RPCC)

Wednesday – UU groups rotate through programs 
9:00-10:25 AM     First program (see Group Schedules) 
10:40-12:05 PM     Second program (see Group Schedules) 
12:15-12:45 PM     Lunch (Physical Sciences Atrium)
1:00-2:25 PM     Third program (see Group Schedules) 
2:40-4:05 PM     Fourth program (see Group Schedules)

Thursday – UU groups rotate through programs 
8:55-10:20 AM     Fifth program (see Group Schedules) 
10:35-12:00 PM     Sixth program (see Group Schedules) 

UU - A

Tuesday – all UU groups together 

2:00-3:00 PM    UU Opening program (3rd Floor, RPCC) 

3:00-4:30 PM     Campus Tour (Leave from RPCC)


9:00 AM – 10:25 AM Digging It (Johnson Museum of Art)

10:40 AM- 12:05 PM Get the Gist of Saving (Martha Van Rensselaer Hall, Room G331)

1:00 PM – 2:25 PM Food, Fitness & Fun (Ag Quad near Roberts Hall with rain location: Martha Van Rensselaer Hall, Room G422)

2:40 PM – 4:05 PM Horse Guts and Math (Morrison Hall)


8:55 AM – 10:20 AM A Universe of All Sizes (Olin Hall, Room 245)

10:35 AM – 12:00 PM Exploring nanotechnology (Duffield Hall Atrium)

(back to overall Schedule)

UU - B

Tuesday – all UU groups together 

2:00-3:00 PM    UU Opening program (3rd Floor, RPCC) 

3:00-4:30 PM     Campus Tour (Leave from RPCC)


9:00 AM – 10:25 AM Get the Gist of Saving (Martha Van Rensselaer Hall, Room G331)

10:40 AM- 12:05 PM Food, Fitness & Fun (Ag Quad near Roberts Hall with rain location: Martha Van Rensselaer Hall, Room G422)

1:00 PM – 2:25 PM Horse Guts and Math (Morrison Hall)

2:40 PM – 4:05 PM SkinKit (Human Ecology Building. Room 201)


8:55 AM – 10:20 AM Exploring nanotechnology (Duffield Hall Atrium) 

10:35 AM – 12:00 PM Mechanics of Metamaterials (Upson, Room 202)


(back to overall Schedule)

UU - C

Tuesday – all UU groups together 

2:00-3:00 PM    UU Opening program (3rd Floor, RPCC) 

3:00-4:30 PM     Campus Tour (Leave from RPCC)


9:00 AM – 10:25 AM Food, Fitness & Fun (Ag Quad near Roberts Hall with rain location: Martha Van Rensselaer Hall, Room G422)

10:40 AM- 12:05 PM Horse Guts and Math (Morrison Hall)

1:00 PM – 2:25 PM A Universe of All Sizes (Olin Hall, Room 245)

2:40 PM – 4:05 PM Exploring nanotechnology (Duffield Hall Atrium) 


8:55 AM – 10:20 AM Mechanics of Metamaterials (Upson, Room 202)

10:35 AM – 12:00 PM Digging It (Johnson Museum of Art)

(back to overall Schedule)

UU - D

Tuesday – all UU groups together 

2:00-3:00 PM    UU Opening program (3rd Floor, RPCC) 

3:00-4:30 PM     Campus Tour (Leave from RPCC)


9:00 AM – 10:25 AM Horse Guts and Math (Morrison Hall)

10:40 AM- 12:05 PM A Universe of All Sizes (Olin Hall, Room 245)

1:00 PM – 2:25 PM Exploring nanotechnology (Duffield Hall Atrium) 

2:40 PM – 4:05 PM Mechanics of Metamaterials (Upson, Room 202)


8:55 AM – 10:20 AM Digging It (Johnson Museum of Art)

10:35 AM – 12:00 PM Get the Gist of Saving (Martha Van Rensselaer Hall, Room G331)

UU - F

Tuesday – all UU groups together 

2:00-3:00 PM    UU Opening program (3rd Floor, RPCC) 

3:00-4:30 PM     Campus Tour (Leave from RPCC)


9:00 AM – 10:25 AM Exploring nanotechnology (Duffield Hall Atrium) 

10:40 AM- 12:05 PM Mechanics of Metamaterials (Upson, Room 202)

1:00 PM – 2:25 PM Digging It (Johnson Museum of Art)

2:40 PM – 4:05 PM Get the Gist of Saving (Martha Van Rensselaer Hall, Room G331)


8:55 AM – 10:20 AM Food, Fitness & Fun (Ag Quad near Roberts Hall with rain location: Martha Van Rensselaer Hall, Room G422)

10:35 AM – 12:00 PM A Universe of All Sizes (Olin Hall, Room 245)

(back to overall Schedule)

UU - G

Tuesday – all UU groups together 

2:00-3:00 PM    UU Opening program (3rd Floor, RPCC) 

3:00-4:30 PM     Campus Tour (Leave from RPCC)


9:00 AM – 10:25 AM Mechanics of Metamaterials (Upson, Room 202)

10:40 AM- 12:05 PM Digging It (Johnson Museum of Art)

1:00 PM – 2:25 PM Get the Gist of Saving (Martha Van Rensselaer Hall, Room G331)

2:40 PM – 4:05 PM A Universe of All Sizes (Olin Hall, Room 245)


8:55 AM – 10:20 AM Horse Guts and Math (Morrison Hall)

10:35 AM – 12:00 PM Food, Fitness & Fun (Ag Quad near Roberts Hall with rain location: Martha Van Rensselaer Hall, Room G422) 

(back to overall Schedule)

Be Our Guest:  Welcome to Hospitality

Be Our Guest.png

Statler Hotel

Maximum number of youth: 10

The Statler Hotel is the Premier Teaching Hotel as part of the world’s #1 school for hospitality education The Nolan School of Hotel Administration. The hospitality industry is one of the world’s largest industries. With a wide range of segments including Food & Beverage, Lodging, Recreation, Travel & Tourism and Meetings & Events. There are endless career opportunities in hospitality, including:   operations service positions, operations management and leadership roles, career paths in sales, marketing, finance, facilities, information technology, human resources, and many more. 

This program will introduce the exciting world of hospitality. Learn how hotels and restaurants create memorable guest experiences. Meet our student interns and learn about their career paths. Learn and test your new hospitality skills with our hands-on activities. And have fun with our competitive games!

Packing suggestions: Some of our activities will take place in guest areas of the hotel, our participants should be in appropriate attire for a business casual setting.   Participants should wear nice, casual slacks (khakis would be fine), no shorts, no jeans, no yoga pants.  Polo shirts, button down shirts or blouses, short sleeves okay, no hats, appropriate non-slip shoes.

One of the activities on the second day will be an obstacle course where you could wear athletic wear. The program leaders suggest you bring a shirt representing your home school to wear during this activity.


2:00 PM                           Welcome and Introductions (Statler Hotel Mtg Rm)

2:15 PM                            Background on the Hotel School and Statler Hotel (Statler Hotel Mtg Rm) 

2:45 PM                           Icebreaker activity (Statler Hotel Mtg Rm)

3:00 PM                           Discussion:  Service and Hospitality (Statler Hotel Mtg Rm)

3:30 PM                           Tour of the Statler Hotel 



9:00 AM                           Mac’s Café:  Creating Smoothies (Mac’s Café)

10:15 AM                           Housekeeping:  Making the Perfect Bed (Statler Guest Rooms)

12:00 – 1:00 PM             Lunch (Physical Sciences Atrium)

1:00 PM                           Meetings & Events:  Setting and  Serving a Table (Statler Hotel Mtg Rm)

2:45 PM                           Panel Discussion:  Hospitality Careers (Statler Hotel Mtg Rm)

3:30 PM                           4-H Waiter and Waitress Race (Space TBD)



9:00 AM                           Culinary:  The Great 4-H Bake-Off (Main Kitchen)

11:00 AM                         Statler Trivia Contest (Statler Hotel Mtg Rm)

11:45 AM                         Wrap Up (Statler Hotel Mtg Rm) 

(back to overall Schedule)

The Future of Food

Food Systems.png

4-H Food Systems Program Work Team

Maximum number of youth: 30


The future of food includes… you! Did you know there are many careers related to food that just might match your interests whether they are in science, social studies, entrepreneurship, and education to name a few? In this track, you will learn about a wide variety of careers contributing to the sustainability of food systems through fun and engaging activities across Cornell’s campus. You will also get the unique opportunity to visit Cornell AgriTech, a world-famous agricultural experiment station! The activities will showcase cutting edge technology and let you take part in the science of growing and making food as well as food security and food sovereignty efforts.

Packing Suggestions: Youth should dress appropriately to be outside on a farm: sun hat, raincoat, closed-toe walking shoes that you won’t mind getting wet and dirty. Full leg coverage such as long pants, leggings, etc. are recommended. Bring a reusable water bottle, sunscreen, and bug spray. Bring one small, lightweight, nonperishable ingredient you enjoy eating.


1:40 PM                           Introduction to the track and interactive icebreaker (Auditorium in RPCC) 

2:00 PM                           Roles in the Food Systems  (Auditorium in RPCC) 

2:30 PM                           Walk over to Cornell Botanic Gardens, Nevin Welcome Center 

2:50 PM                           Break 

3:00 PM                           Interactive activity: Seeds of Survival and Celebration exhibit (Pam Shade, Nevin Welcome Center) 

3:45 PM                           Interactive activity: Vegetable Varieties Trial Garden & Seed to Supper (Pounder Vegetable Garden) 



8:30 AM                           Travel to AgriTech 

10:00 AM                         Arrive and split into two groups 

10:30 AM                         Bus to Field activities at McCarthy farm 

                                          Digital Agriculture- robots, drones, and weed-zappers! 

                                          Fruit and Vegetable collections 

11:15 AM                         Groups switch activities (walk) 

12:00 PM                         Return to Jordan Hall (bus) 

12:15 PM                         Lunch in Jordan Hall auditorium or pavilion 

1:00 PM                           Walk across North Street to Food Sci or IPM buildings 

1:15 PM                           Afternoon Activities 

                                          Food Processing Demo at Cornell Food Venture Center (Food Research Laboratory Bldg) 

                                          Insects and Pest Management (NYS IPM Bldg) 

2:00 PM                           Groups switch activities (walk) 

2:45 PM                           TasteNY and other opportunities for producers or value-added food processors (Jordan Hall) 

3:30 PM                           Travel back to campus 



9:15 AM                           Intro to the Sustainable Aquaculture Feed Research Program       

9:30 AM                           Split into two groups for hands-on activities 

                                          Aquaponics - plant crops grown using aquaculture water (Morrison Hall or Kenneth Post Laboratory) 

                                          Aquaculture with feed research (Morrison Hall or Kenneth Post Laboratory) 

10:15 AM                         Groups switch activities 

11:00 AM                         Break 

11:15 AM                         Reflection and Track Conclusion  (Morrison Hall or Kenneth Post Laboratory) 

(back to overall Schedule)

Citizen Science Explorers

Citizen Science.png

Cornell Lab of Ornithology, K-12 Education

Maximum number of youth: 15


Do you have a passion for nature and birds? Discover how you can use your passion to help scientists and conservationists through citizen science! We'll explore apps that help you identify and observe the natural world and share your sightings with databases that scientists use to answer real-world questions. We'll practice our bird ID skills, go on bird walks, and dive into citizen science data. We'll also have the chance to meet scientists and professionals from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, learn about their careers, and explore the secret lives of birds.

Packing Suggestions: Shoes to hike on dirt and mulch trails, water bottles, hats, and sunscreen. We will be using citizen science apps, so smart devices are welcome.


2:00 PM                           Welcome and Group Introductions (Human Ecology Building 113)

3:00 PM                           Introduction to citizen science with eBird & iNaturalist 

4:00 PM                           Question Brainstorm 



9:00 AM                           Question Planning (Cornell Lab Ornithology) 

9:30 AM                           Nature Walk & Data Collection (Cornell Lab of Ornithology Trails)

11:00 AM                         Meet Lab Staff – Multimedia/Macaulay (Teaching Lab)

12:00 PM                         Lunch (Portico)

1:00 PM                           Meet Lab Staff – Collections (Prep Lab)

2:00 PM                           Meet Lab Staff – Conservation Bioacoustics (Teaching Lab)

3:00 PM                           Meet Cornell Students (Teaching Lab)

3:45 PM                           K-12 Activities (Teaching Lab)



9:30 AM                           Nature Walk & Data Collection (Human Ecology Building 113)

10:30 AM                         Data Submission and Analysis 

11:30 AM                         Explore eBird & Community Action 

(back to overall Schedule)

Exploration of STEM through Smart Firegear

Fire Gear.png

Department of Human Centered Design

Maximum number of youth: 15


Participants will experience, learn and understand technologies, science, materials and human factors employed to develop firefighting gear, through discussion, guest speaker talk, games and lab activities.


2:00 PM                           Welcome and ice breaker (HEB 121)

2:30 PM                           Introduction to Firefighter Gear Design (HEB 121)

2:45 PM                           Anthropometry Activity     (HEB 121)

3:30 PM                           Introduction to 3D Scanning Technology (HEB 121)

3:45 PM                           3D Body Scanning (HEB 112)



9:00 AM                           Introduction to Wearability & Design (HEB 121)

9:30 AM                           Fire Gear Games (HEB 121)

11:00 AM                         Introduction to Materials (HEB T141) 

11:15 AM                         Materials Testing Activity (HEB T156)

12:00 – 1:00 PM             Lunch (Physical Sciences Atrium)

1:00 PM                           Burning Test (HEB T141)

1:30 PM                           Jeyeon Research on Circuits & Sensors (HEB 121)

2:00 PM                           Conductive Ink Screen Printing Activity (HEB 121)

4:00 PM                           Advanced Motion Capture System (HEB 121) 



9:00 AM                           Introduction to Smart Fire Gear (HEB 121)

9:30 AM                           Tour of D2FS (D2FS)

10:00 AM                         Firefighter Speaker (HEB 121)

11:00 AM                         Firefighter Design Activity (HEB 121)

(back to overall Schedule)

Exploring the Cosmos



Maximum number of youth: 15


Have you ever wondered how scientists look for aliens? Or how we got from the big bang to the creation of our solar system?  In this series of workshops, you'll learn how our little planet fits into the vast framework of the universe through hands-on activities and conversations with astronomers. To get our own first-hand glimpse at space, we’ll also take a trip to Cornell’s Fuertes Observatory (weather permitting).


Packing Suggestions: Warm clothes for an observing night.


2:00 – 3:00 PM     Intro & Icebreakers (Space Sciences Building 105) 

3:00 - 4:30 PM    Light and Spectroscopy (Spacecraft Planetary Imaging Facility (SPIF)) 



9:00 – 10:00 AM     Size of the Universe (Space Sciences Building 105) 

10:00 AM – 12 PM     Searching for Aliens (Space Sciences Building 105) 

12:00 – 1:00 PM    Lunch (Physical Sciences Atrium) 

1:00 – 2:30 PM     Career Panel (SPIF) 

3:00 – 4:30 PM     Solar Viewing and Tour of Fuertes Observatory (Fuertes Observatory) 

9:30 - 11 PM    Observing Night (weather permitting) (Fuertes Observatory) 



9:00 – 11:00 AM     AstroTech Scavenger Hunt (Space Sciences Building 622) 

11 AM – 12:00 PM    Liquid nitrogen ice cream; wrap-up (Space Sciences Building 622) 

(back to overall Schedule)

Story, Design, Action: Career Paths in World-Making 

Media Design Action.png

(note: new program name, changed from Media, Design, Action: Career Paths in World-Making)



Maximum number of youth: 15 


Through hands-on media-making workshops, Media, Design, Action showcases careers paths in design thinking, media design, and strategic storytelling, from gathering evidence with communities, to sharing cutting-edge research between collaborators, to persuading policy-makers and communities to take action in such areas as Environmental studies, Human rights and international law, Public health and well-being, and Economic and social development. Explore campus then document and reflect on your explorations in a mini TED-like talk about you