2018 – 2019 Projects

Here’s the schedule and descriptions for our upcoming projects; we’ve removed locations for public view, but many project meetings are at the San Leandro Main Library, while others are at the project leader’s house (Oakland, San Leandro, Alameda, Fremont), or local area parks. You can either download the schedule by clicking here, or see below:

Project Descriptions

American Girl

Do you love the American Girl historical dolls? So do we! Learn more about American Girl, do fun crafts, sample food, play games, see toys, clothing, and tools from different time periods, and meet friends! We will have a doll tea party to celebrate December holiday festivities including Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa.

Owning an American Girl doll is not required. If you have one, you are encouraged to bring your favorite American Girl to all classes, and boys are very welcome too.

In each American Girl history project meeting, we will present and discuss a doll and their story from historical book series, and then we will do a craft and/or other project (cooking, video, period dance) relating to that American Girl and her era. In addition, each doll has specific positive character traits that we will focus on in conjunction with various service learning projects.

We highly encourage project members to read the American Girl historical character books at home before each meeting. The books are available through the Alameda County Library system. The American Girl historical collection, American Girl out-of-print books, and antique items will be shared, please remind your child be mindful of this. This project is for Ages 8 and up. Due to the small size of the home we will be meeting in, we are sorry, but non-enrolled siblings cannot be accommodated.


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 October 2nd (1st Tuesday) at Kensington Library (near Berkeley) for a sit down discussion on the basics and safety, but all other meetings will be at Bowman Archery Range (near Chabot Space and Science) where members will get plenty of time to shoot arrows and practice their aim.


Let’s get together and learn the time-honored tradition of baking, from flour to cake. Ever wonder why you put salt in cookies or what purpose eggs serve in angel food cake? Do you know what a ramekin is? These questions can be answered — and more — in the baking project. We will discuss ingredients and equipment, techniques and tricks. And then we’ll eat our work!!

Bejewel & Bedazzle

Each meeting will have a theme project to bejewel and bedazzle; with time left you can create necklaces and bracelets.

Themes: Treasure Box, Mirror, Cards (for Mother’s Day, Birthdays, Valentine’s, etc.), Frame

Bubble Buddies

 Everyone loves bubbles, so come join the Bubble Buddies project. We’ll be taking our bubble making to the next level by experimenting with different bubble solutions and wands, creating bubbles of different shapes and sizes, learning about the science behind bubbles, creating bubble art, taking a bubble-related field trip, and more!

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! This year’s focus will be “The Mathematics of Winning Games” where we will explore some general strategies for successfully solving simple games and puzzles.

Through playing games like 20 Questions, Tower of Hanoi, Roulette, penny matching, Connect 4, NIM (and more), we’ll learn mathematical strategies for winning: symmetry, working backward, evaluating fairness using expected values, bluffing, playing unpredictable, equilibrium strategy, probability and much more. Game Theory is a huge field in mathematics and is used in economics and social sciences, we will be focusing mainly on how it applies to winning games, but will touch on Prisoner’s Dilemma and dollar auctions to illustrate the human side of games.

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 fourth 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. For a change, we will be focusing on famous illustrators from magazines and children’s books to be our “Artist of the Day” and using their incredible variety of work to explore basic tenets of art: line, form, depth, color, mood, story-telling and more.

Upcoming artists include: Quentin Blake, Richard Scarry, Norman Rockwell and many others. Our working applications include Paper 53 (easy to use and good to start with), Procreate, Sketches and Adobe apps, and we keep searching for more. No iPad? No problem, you can borrow one for meetings from the project leader.

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

Environmental Stewardship: Plastics Pollution

This is our 12th year of the Plastics project in East Hills, and we are still focused on the problem of marine plastic pollution. 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. 15th, 2018 as well as several smaller, private cleanups (location to be decided on by members).  We will also use the “Clean Swell” app from Ocean Conservancy to collect data on the plastic garbage we find (citizen science project).
– We’ll screen print cloth produce bags to use at informational booths as prizes and keep adding to our collection of brochures and informational posters/videos. We dd a “Share the Fun” presentation last year, if members would like to another presentation on Plastics, we’ll make that happen too.
– And finally, we’ll open each meeting with a new and promising technology to replace disposable plastics with more sustainable materials. One example includes a recently published paper about using crab shells to make compostable “plastic” bags; what are the issues around this technology? Timelines to seeing it in stores? And more, of course!

Fairy Tales

Most of us are familiar with the traditional fairy tale stories, or at least with the Disney versions. In this project we will be reading some retellings of those popular fairy tales and then meeting to discuss the new version versus the original, and what we thought about them. This is primarily a book club project, but we will also have some other book related activities to make it fun, like games and crafts. The book selections are aimed at ages 10-14, but can be enjoyed by a larger age range, just depending on the individual. If you’d like to see the book list before deciding, just let us know and it can be sent it to you.

Fiction Writing

In Fiction Writing we’ll be exploring what makes a good character, how to set up a plot, and more. The goal of the project is to create a story that all the group members help write. At the end of the project, members will hopefully be able to incorporate the things they’ve learned when writing their own stories.

Gilltract Farms

Come monthly to Gilltract Farms—a Bay Area Treasure. Learn how to plant, harvest and maintain an Urban Farm in a relaxed and ultra child-friendly environment, and take home some free produce with you!

Kindness Project

This project intends to provide a different volunteer opportunity each month in which even our youngest members can participate. 

Oct – paint rocks and hide in your neighborhood (Alameda)
Nov – food drive for the food bank (San Leandro)
Dec – fill blessing bags for the homeless (Alameda)
Feb – make Valentines for Meals on Wheels recipients (Alameda)
Mar – work in a community garden (Berkeley/Albany)
Apr – clean up the beach (Alameda)
May – open to ideas for our last meeting

Knots & Codes

What do knots and codes have in common? More than you might think! Did you know that the word “clue” originally meant “a ball of thread”? Come join us to untangle knotty codes like the Pigpen Cipher, learn useful knots like the Bowline and the Figure of Eight Knot, create complex string figures like Owl’s Eyes, and talk about code and knot history and lore.

Digital Makerspace & More

Digital Makerspace is a member-driven Maker project where members “make” in the digital world, including programming, making games, working on videos or other digital presentations, and working on websites. The “More” in the description can refer to Arduino, Raspberry Pis and a 3-D printer, all of which requires programming and other digital skills, or it can refer to non-digital parts of a project, like cutting and gluing parts together. We will provide hands-on introductions to:

– 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 circuitry and basic programming, building up to working with robotics.

Members who have a project in mind can work on that; others can work on the above projects to get started. Our 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 that members can help with for community service as well as an East Hills 4-H booth at the East Bay Mini-Maker Faire on Sunday, October 21st. We’ll spend a little time at our September meeting brainstorming ideas and getting ready.

Primary Makerspace

A makerspace project designed especially for our younger members!  From low tech to high tech, we’ll have fun making things.  So join us as we build cool creations out of everyday materials like paper and tape, learn about electricity using Snap Circuits, explore chain reactions, and more!

Marine Science
Description coming soon!


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!

Nature Journaling

This will be a combination of a biology and art lesson.  Lessons are inspired from John Muir Laws Nature Journaling Book. 

  1. Leaves/trees
  2. Bugs
  3. Reptiles & amphibians
  4. Birds
  5. Mammals


We’ll meet once a month to do some needlework and embroidery. We’ll learn various stitches and techniques, and also have space for members to work on their own projects. All skill levels welcome.

Organic Gardening

 Description coming soon.

Pop Goes the Poster

Presentation Day is an important event in 4-H, and in preparing and presenting, 4-H members learn and practice important life skills like public speaking & persuasion, and presenting information and data. But Presentation Day has a range of possible formats; some focus on putting together information in an exciting, clear and logical way and others are giving speeches, thinking on your feet and being persuasive. East Hills has a project just for the public speaking part, this project is about presenting information on a tri-fold or slides and making them pop!

Using iPad apps, Microsoft Word or hand-drawn graphics, we will explore how color, graphics, fonts, size and placement make your tri-folds or slides stand out for illustrated talks, demonstrations, science presentations, and educational displays. These still require 4-H members to talk and answer questions, but the focus is on the poster, and that will be the focus of our project. If you would like some help in making your next presentation or poster for another event, this is the project for you! There’s no requirement to enter Presentation Day of course, although it is highly encouraged.

Public Speaking, Conversation, & Debate

We will use games and other activities to help develop public speaking fluency, spontaneity and confidence while having fun! We’ll be incorporating improv exercises, debate techniques as well as some basic conversation skills and games. Let’s conquer the fear and worry of public speaking together.

Ride and Wrench Bike Project

Are you ready to explore the world of bicycling?  Come grab a wrench and get your hands dirty!  During this project we will learn to identify the parts of a bicycle and how to perform basic maintenance.  We will also hop on our bikes and feel the wind in our faces as members practice cycling skills at their level.

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                          

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!

The Story of Science

We will traverse the history of science by examining the stories and the work of some of our greatest minds in science. 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! A topic list is coming soon, but last year, we covered Aristotle, Newton, Faraday, Darwin and Maxwell, just to name a few.

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!

A Taste of 4-H

Are you new to our club or interested in trying out a variety of 4-H projects that East Hills has to offer?  Possibilities include cooking, gardening, theater, crafts, biking, and science topics.  Each month, A Taste of 4-H, will explore a different project available to our club members.

World History 1600s-1800s

We will be discussing topics covered in the Story of the World history series and doing related hands on projects. Following a 20-30 minute introduction, we will be doing art projects, science projects, playing games, and cooking together to learn about cultures from around the world. This year we will be starting in the mid-1600s and progressing chronologically. Some examples of topics will be: the American colonies, the American Revolution, the French Revolution, the British takeover of India, the Opium Wars in China, the Industrial Revolution, Mexican Independence, and the California Gold Rush. The goal will be to introduce topics in a fun way in the projects so that participants will be inspired to explore a multitude of perspectives on historical events on their own.