2017 – 2018 East Hills Projects and Descriptions



Learn the lore and basics of Archery and practice shooting with a bow and arrow (provided) at Bowman Archery Range up in the Oakland Hills. Topics include the fundamentals, including equipment, nomenclature, target shooting basics and safety, the DASH system (Draw=Aim=Shoot-Hold), compensation for wind and distance, range shooting rules and procedures and sometimes the actual physics behind shooting an arrow

Please note that the first meeting will be on a 4th Tuesday in September at Kensington Library (near Berkeley) for a sit down discussion on the basics and safety, but all other meetings will be at Bowman where members will get plenty of time to shoot arrows and practice their aim.




Let’s get together and find out more about baking. What do the ingredients do for our product? What types of equipment do we use, and how do we use it?

Creative Math

“Mathematics is a creative subject. It involves spotting patterns, making connections, and finding new ways of looking at things. Creative mathematicians play with ideas, draw pictures, have the courage to experiment and ask good questions.”

This is a quote from the wild.math.org website, and will be the basis of our project, Creative Math. Using mathematical games, puzzles and problems, members will explore math topics, imagine, experiment, and create! Some of the puzzles and problems will be pencil and paper, but to accommodate younger members, many will involve hands on manipulatives like blocks/polyominoes, Cusienaire Rods, an abacus, Polydrons, Zome tools, pegboards, and even paper mini-computers. Resources for activities and problems include Ivan Moscovich’s books, the Expii site, myriad Math Circle sites and blogs, and the Nrich/Wild.math (Cambridge) websites. Leader will also post resources and links to online math applets and sites for further play at home.  

Digital & More Makerspace

Digital Makerspace will be another Maker project where members will work on “making” in the digital world, including programming, making games, working on videos or other digital presentations, and working on websites. The “More” in the description refers to Arduino, Raspberry Pis and a 3-D printer, all of which requires programming and other digital skills. Since it can be overwhelming to start your own project when you are new to a skill, we will be focusing on a few topics:

– Writing Minecraft mods, using Mcreator
– Using CodePen to tinker with coding, instead of learning in the traditional way. See HTML and CSS in action as you tinker and learn, and if you know those already, you can try out JavaScript or add jQuery and more advanced topics.
– Using a 3-D printer to print some objects.
– Starting an Arduino project to learn how to use and program robots.

Members who have a project in mind are welcome to work on that; others can work on the above projects to get started. One leader is well versed in CS and programming, and the other is knowledgeable in basic website design, digital apps, so members can get help with a variety of projects. We also run a community Makerspace at the San Lorenzo Library once a month (not required to help, but it is community service and lots of fun) as well as an East Hills 4-H booth at the East Bay Mini-MakerFaire on Sunday, October 22nd. We’ll spend a little time at our September meeting brainstorming ideas and getting ready.

Digital Art
Art comes in many forms, and a new and very fun form of art is using iPad apps to draw, paint, sketch or watercolor pictures. In our third year of this project, we will continue exploring an “Artist of the Day” to start each meeting and then working in our apps to “paint” and make art.

Upcoming artists and techniques include: Cezanne (still lifes), Monet and Renoir, Courbet (landscapes), the importance of art in the history of science (drawing specimens), Turner (Romanticism), Rembrandt and finally Lictenstein (modern art).

In addition, we will also explore using IOS apps to edit photos, allowing us to learn and play with white balance, saturation, hue, temperature and even curves when editing photos. Our working applications include Paper 53 (easy to use and good to start with), Procreate, Pixelmator and Prisma. 

Aside from the Artist of the Day and a little bit of fundamental art theory, members will have time to work on their own projects. Members have multiple opportunities to display their art (AMP Field Day and Alameda County Fair), but we’re always looking for more, so let the leader know about any ideas or contests that would apply.

Environmental Stewardship: Plastics Pollution
This is our 11th year of the Plastics project in East Hills, and the problem of marine plastic pollution is only getting worse. What is plastic pollution, and what can we do about it? We’ll learn about that as well as trying to educate others about the problem and possible solutions which includes plastic reduction, reuse, re-purposing and recycling efforts. Our focus this year will be:

– Participating in the Coastal Cleanup on Sept. 16th, 2017 as well as several smaller, private cleanups (location to be decided on by members).
–  Using the “Clean Swell” app from Ocean Conservancy at our private cleanups to collect data on the plastic garbage we find (citizen science project) as well as using photos and video to make a movie and brochures about the problem of plastic pollution.
– We will also make informational posters and brochures for our booth at the Oct. 15th Environmental Fair being put on by the Rising Stars at Crab Cove in Alameda. If possible, we can use same materials for informational booths at local farmer markets.
– We will use a recently purchased screen printing kit to make cloth produce bags to use at our booths as prizes (continuation of project from last year).

Environmental Stewardship: Sausal Creek Community Service

In this project we will continue working on a site in Dimond Park that East Hills adopted 4 years ago under the supervision of Friends of Sausal Creek. We have removed invasive plants from a large area and we are repopulating it with a diverse array of native plant life.

Activities include watering, weeding, and planting. Along the way, members will learn about plant identification and why biodiversity is important to our natural environment. Be advised that our site includes a steep hill that kids love to scramble up. Also, this project needs new leadership, so we are especially looking for new families who would be interested in training to become the new project leader in the spring.

Fiber Arts

Join us each month to do some handwork. We’ll have a different project to work on at each meeting, but if there is something in particular that you would like to learn or work on, you can bring that in and we can help or answer questions, or just provide space for you to work. All fiber art forms and experience levels are welcome.


Fun with Theatre

Do you like telling stories and pretending?  Then join us for the “Fun with Theatre” project. In the meetings we will play games that will help help us get to know each other, learn acting skills, and gain confidence performing. We also will work together on a short play that we will perform at Alameda County 4-H Presentation Day. We will use our artistic creativity to make our own sets and costumes. If you want to help with the performance but aren’t comfortable acting, then you can still join us and help backstage and with production. We’ll see you on the stage!

Harry Potter

Witches, wizards, and muggles are all invited to join us for some Hogwarts style activities. There will be wand making, care of magical creatures, potions, defense against the dark arts and more. We’ll also be discussing the books, comparing them to the movies, playing games and trivia, and maybe even trying some Hogwarts style treats.

A word on “spoilers” – The Harry Potter series is filled with wonderful mysteries and surprises. We know that every member might not have read all of the books by the time the project begins. Just to be clear, we will be talking about the entire series – a lot. There will be spoilers. Please keep that in mind when deciding whether or not you’d like to join.  

Marine Science


November is National Novel Writing Month. Come join us as we write a novel! We will help you plan your novel, work on your characters, and chart your course on this exciting adventure. And we will write, write, write!

Organic Gardening

Outdoor Adventures

Join us the 4th Mondays of the month from 12-2pm for Outdoor Adventures in January, February, March and April. We will go to Gilltract farm to learn about Urban Farming, do a beach cleanup up on Alameda Beach, visit Little Farm in Tilden and go to Jewel Lake, and hike around Lake Anza.


We will read books about various topics/genres and do different activities related to those topics. Each member will choose age/grade appropriate books and tell the other members about the books at the beginning of the meetings. Members will help choose topics but some possibilities include animals, Christmas, space, mysteries, etc. Activities will include crafts, cooking, field trips, fine art, and whatever else members would like to do.

Rising Stars

This project is a county-wide public outreach project in which members bring awareness of 4-H to the community. This would be done by designing and executing an outreach project. While working on the project and other related tasks, they would develop skills in teamwork, leadership, public speaking, and citizenship. Activities could include planning and work parties and related field trips.                                                                      


Join us the 2nd Tuesdays of the month in January, February, March and April from 10:30-12:30 pm to learn to sew by hand and on the machine.  We will make a donut pin cushion, learning patterns and make pajama bottom and/or pajamas top. Participants are encouraged to enter their creations into Fashion Revue.

Small Animals

A project to learn about basic husbandry and health concerns of a variety of small animal pets, including but not limited to hamsters and mice, rabbits, snakes and lizards. We will be discussing how to grow your pet’s diet, enrichment, breeding, rescue, and conservation. We will also be working on the East Hills’ booth for Small Animal Field Day (usually sometime in April), which means coming up with a theme, making posters and coming up with a game for participants.                                                           

Square Dancing

4-H members come join the fun!  This is a county-wide project so you can meet members from other clubs.  Boys and girls learn to square dance from basic beginner to Mainstream and Plus as well as some line dancing.  There are also community service and project exhibit opportunities with this project.  Square dancing outfits are not required, but be sure you wear tennis shoes, not slip-ons or sandals, and clothing you can move around in.  In this project, you can have a lot of fun, meet new friends and get great exercise!   Bring your friends (they don’t have to be 4-H members) and parents too!

Stitched & Stuffed

We’ll meet every month to hand sew a new critter friend. We’ll be cutting out patterns and learning some basic stitching.
Beginning sewers are welcome.


The Story of Science & the Scientists

We will traverse the history of science by examining the stories and the work of some of our greatest minds in science. We’ll start with Aristotle but also touch on what was happening in other parts of the ancient world, move on to Astronomy with Copernicus and Galileo, and then Classical Physics with Newton, delve into Darwin and Faraday (evolution and electricity), and then come into more modern physics, with Maxwell and Einstein, and finally, explore modern day discoveries and scientists, namely those responsible for discovering DNA and viruses, and string theory and gravity waves in Physics.

Examining scientific discoveries within the narrative of history helps kids to see not only how scientific progress happens, but also provides a framework for understanding the scientific principles themselves. When you learn how Copernicus figured out that Earth and other planets revolve around the sun, it helps in understanding the astronomical principles behind it all. Our project leader will be Dr. Lee Donaghey (Material Science, now retired) who is still passionate about science and all the latest discoveries!


Come and learn about succulents and make your own potted succulent garden for Garden Field Day in spring 2018. We’ll learn about the different kinds of succulents and how they thrive with little water, take cuttings to grow our own plants, work on a decorated potted garden, and get our hands dirty growing! There will be three main meetings in October, Nov. And Dec., and then one more meeting in early Spring (TBD) to work on Garden Field Day entries.


Table Games

Table games are a great way to naturally learn while playing and having fun! From classic games like Monopoly and Uno to modern games like Ticket to Ride and Forbidden Island, there will be something for everyone. Younger players can develop basic math and logic skills while older players can develop advanced strategic thinking. Everyone can use their imagination and creativity, as well as practice sportsmanship. Come join us and learn a new game, bring your favorite game and teach it to someone else, or even make up your own!

Word Crafts

In this project we will explore words, books and related ideas through calligraphy, speech games, poetry and more!  We’ll look at writers and speakers through different time periods. Come leap into the world of words!

World History

In this project we will do hands on projects from Story of the World that relate to topics in world history. This year we will start with the age of exploration by learning how to sail a model sailboat around the Alameda lagoon. We will explore some of the indigenous cultures of the Americas, such as the Maya, Aztec, and Incas. We will visit the Elizabethan age and Shakespearean theater. We will use crafts, games, reenactments, and cooking to explore the cultures and historical events that shaped the world we live in. Projects are designed for 1st through 5th grade level.