New 4-H instructor to teach STEM, life skills
Posted at 12:00 a.m. on Thursday, September 8, 2022
With a new school year underway, students at several Lawrence County schools will see a new face this fall.
Zoie Clay started as a program assistant for Lawrence County 4-H on August 15 and will work with local schools on youth development and STEM education.
Clay said she was originally from Lawrence County and her father graduated from St. Joseph High School in Ironton before moving to Mississippi.
Clay earned his undergraduate degree from St. Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana, and his master’s degree in international relations from American University in Washington, DC.
Shortly after graduation, she said the COVID-19 pandemic started as she decided on her next path,
eventually working as a substitute teacher.
Clay said that with 4-H, she will use grants from Apple and the Ohio Department of Education to not only work with traditional 4-H students, but to target those who are “unreached and underserved”.
She said she had already visited elementary and middle schools in Ironton and created lesson plans, where she would teach things such as creative coding using a robotic sphere, educating students on concepts such as graphic design.
Clay, who will work with three other staff at the 4-H office, including director Rachael Fraley, will also coordinate after-school programs at Rock Hill and Symmes Valley schools.
In addition to STEM, she will focus on areas such as workforce development, healthy lifestyles and mental health.
She said she also wanted to incorporate the space program into her classes because her father works for NASA.
In high school, she hopes to create a “real-world survival camp” for high school students, in which she would go through the necessary skills.
“It would be things like buying a house and how to do taxes,” she said. “So they get those adult skills.”
She plans to do things like resume workshops and college and career fairs.
“We want to show them as many opportunities as possible,” she said.