4-H PROJECT IDEAS
*SAVE THIS GUIDE FOR FUTURE REFERENCE**
Welcome to the exciting world of 4-H. Here are some suggestions for exhibits in your project areas. In addition to these suggestions, each project area leaves the possibilities wide open for you to create exhibits that fit your learning and ideas.
Please refer to the premium booklet that you receive in the mail for specific guidelines in each project area.
While there are still several general rules and guidelines that apply to all projects, including sizes for posters, displays and floor-sized exhibits, you are now able to exhibit almost anything that reflects your learning!
The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.
For Americans with Disabilities Act accommodations, please call (800) 552-4435.
Table of Contents
Child & Family Development 1
Clothing and Textiles 2
Consumer Education 4
Exploring Animals 5
Exploring the Environment 5
Fine Arts 4
Fishing Sports 6
Flower Gardening 6
Food and Nutrition 6
Food Preservation 8
Food Revue 9
Forest Resources 9
Global Connections 10
Home Environment 11
Indoor Gardening 12
Lawn and Landscape 12
Needle Arts 12
Performing Arts 12
Plant and Soil Science 13
Shooting Sports/Wildlife Mgmt 14
Small Engines 15
Small Grains & Legumes 15
Vegetable Gardening 16
Veterinary Science 16
Youth Leadership 18
Model rockets built from kit (flyable)-Rockets should be ready for flight except engine need not be installed. Recovery system should be in place and operative.
Model rocket built from own design (flyable)-same rules apply as listed above plus member should know how to test the rocket for stability and how to make corrections if it is not stable
Model airplane built from kit or own design (flyable)—should be balanced and ready for flight. Do not include fuel for gas powered models. Radio equipment may be excluded for RC models
Display of aviation principles
Display of in-flight procedures
Poster/pictures, such as places visited; first plane ride; programs participated in; types of planes
Booklet on specific types of planes; knowledge of how planes/rockets work
Report (could include interviews with people) on history of space flight; history of space exploration/astronauts; careers; aerospace related to agriculture; how planes/rockets work; principles of flight; military air battles
Story you have written about aerospace or space flights, rockets, etc. (could be science fiction)
Any other model (i.e. helicopter, etc.)
Booklet on specific types of planes; knowledge of how planes/rockets work
Poster on road safety
Poster on bike maintenance
Notebook or picture story of a bike rodeo you helped with
Poster of why and how to wear a bike helmet
Display of equipment used for bike repair or first aid
Research for a paper or speech on some aspect of bicycling
Special Science Display on bicycles—entries should be mounted on plywood, or other sturdy material for display and may consist of either a single or series as a unit
Compare different bike styles
Child & Family Development
Toy, game, puzzle, puppets, art/craft materials, etc. made from new or recycled/throw-away material
Babysitting kit/travel kit/rainy day kit including at least one item made by the exhibitor
Original story, poem, song, play, cookbook, audio or video tape and narrative, activity book, or safety manual for children
Original story, poem, song, photo display, audio or video tape, poster, journal, or scrapbook about children and/or families
Consumer study booklet, poster or video comparing at least six commercial toys, children's books, equipment, etc. Include information on age of child, contribution to growth and development, price, safety factors, etc. where applicable. Do not include item in display. Use pictures or photos if needed
Scrapbook, photos, items, reports, video, etc. on family heritage with description of what was learned about self and family
Collection of articles, speeches, etc. on various points of view of an issue concerning children, parenting, families, discipline, TV, or gender roles with exhibitor's position and why
A creatively developed program and/or item used for or with a person with a special need (gifted, developmentally delayed, physically impaired, etc.)
Teaching plans, lessons, activities, etc. for teaching others and report on results of use
Recipes of nutritious snacks
How family culture affects values
Present at least three activities such as: written pledge, the meeting check list, description of mock meeting conducted to demonstrate how to conduct meeting, description of how club selects officers and how committee members are determined, others as determined by exhibitor
Exhibit a poster on a school problem (litter, noise, respect for property)
Explore and list career possibilities related to government
Select and present evaluation sheets from five or six local 4-H meetings and how you scored them. Include a 200-250 word story telling how you evaluated the meetings and significant changes made
Select and present at least five community component studies which you or your club conducted under your leadership. Include copies of your interview outline and, if available, pictures of you conducting an interview
Report on three community projects and/or activities which you or your club completed under your leadership. Include plans of action as well as the evaluation of each
The family tree and community—describe the process and any difficulties and surprises that you encountered as you studied and developed your family history. Report on their settlement and life as part of their community. Include at least two other activities, i.e. family memories, family traditions, maps made, etc. and pictures taken to complete selective activities.
Knowing/understanding my state—illustrate through words and pictures what you have learned
Select and present at least three examples of activities you or your club under your leadership did to help the club to better understand political parties in a democracy and voters in a democracy. Also list career possibilities related to government which has been discussed with the club
Presentation of 4-H international cross-cultural home stay experience
Educational poster or display showing what citizenship means to the member. Exhibit can include pictures of the individual putting Citizenship into action, or a slogan expressing what Citizenship means to the member. Be creative. A story should be attached describing what the member has learned about Citizenship, how the member feels about the project and how this meaning of Citizenship will affect the member in the future.
Clothing and Textiles
Constructed garment such as a blouse, shirt, skirt, pants, sweatshirt, jumper, dress, etc.
Non-clothing constructed item (ex: simple home or clothing accessory item such as a pillow, apron, book bag, belt, placemat, puppet, sewing kit, quilt, curtains, etc.)
Purchased garment or outfit. Must be accompanied by an 8½” x11” notebook that includes: colored photo of member wearing garment, cost of garment, explanation of why garment was purchased, ways it will be used in existing wardrobe, cost comparisons to a constructed garment, wardrobe building, accessorizing or care
Creative sewing such as wearable art, designed garment, recycled or altered garment, custom, or garment showing cultural diversity
Creative use of yarns/fibers. Clothing item that has been made from one of the following techniques: cross stitch, knitting or crocheting
Constructed garment utilizing a fabric or technique new to the exhibitor, such as synthetic suede, active sportswear, micro-fibers, satin, etc.
Tailored garment or outfit using quick or custom tailoring
Clothing or textiles educational display showing special topic exploration such as fabric care characteristics, wardrobe building, cost of garment as it relates to quality and number of times worn.
Homemade prop with written explanation: bring your homemade prop along with a written explanation describing how you made it, how you use it, the audience reaction, and any other information you feel is important. Display in an 8 ½” x 11” inch booklet with binder. Include pictures showing how you use your prop
Scrapbook of current year’s clowning experiences: included should be at least three different experiences such as: fairs, parades, nursing home, or daycares
Display: educational/instructional poster could include but is not limited to: types of clowns, history of clowning, developing a prop, putting on a face, developing a character and a clown kit (make-up, costume, wig, props, etc.) Personal experiences poster could include but is not limited to: teaching others, leadership skills and interacting with others
Costume/Make-up application: this exhibit could include your costume and a written description and picture of complete character on one 8 ½” x 11” page displayed in a 3-ring clear plastic page protector. You could apply make-up for the judge and then dress in complete character for final judging. Your costume and description will be displayed during county fair
One-person skit or performance: a 3-5 minute skit wearing a costume appropriate for the skit. Examples are a magic show, juggling, pantomime, balloons, etc.
Clowning journal: a written documentation of the current year’s clowning experiences. It could include information on what you have gained from your clowning experiences.
Clown ethics and rules: a poster/binder/display on what clowns should and should not do
Labeled chart, graph, poster, or 3D display showing the components of a computer and how they work.
Display and/or written summary (1 to 3 pages) of consumer choices involved when buying a computer
Display and/or written summary (1 to 3 pages) about one of the following: history of computers, changes in society resulting from the invention of computers, the ethics (copyright laws, privacy) involved in using computers or another topic
A display and/or written summary or other type of presentation showing work done in the 4 H computer project
Display and/or written summary (1 to 3 pages) about computer technology
Display and/or written summary (1 to 3 pages) about computer languages
A short computer program written by the member—could include a statement of purpose, flow chart, listing of program and listing of a run of the program
Display and/or written summary (1 to 3 pages) about computer hardware other than monitors, keyboards or disk drives
Display and/or written summary (1 to 3 pages) showing how computer software can be put to use—include statement of purpose, written plan for use and examples of use
Other—may be a display and/or written summary or other type of presentation showing work done in the 4-H computer project
Software developed by the 4-H member—include statement of objectives, list, run, and discussion of program. Programs must be original, enhanced or adapted by the member from an existing program
A display showing how exhibitor has used a computer in an application related to 4-H. Include a statement of purpose and a written plan for use and example of use
A written report of a study on a computer science career—include positions available, skills needed, course work needed to obtain skills and programs offered at universities and other institutions which relate to the career. Could include a poster or three-dimensional display summarizing study
Display and/or written summary (1 to 3 pages) about a computer language or languages other than BASIC
Display and/or written summary (1 to 3 pages) including an outline or lesson plan for teaching other members about computers or a plan to use the computer as a teaching tool for another 4 H project. Include statement of objectives and plan for teaching
Other—may be a display and/or written summary or other presentation showing work done in the 4-H computer project
Display and/or written summary (1-3 pages) about a computer operation besides programming
A file, folder, notebook, etc. for saving labels and/or instruction booklet with example
Label comparison showing different types of labels and information given
Consumer comparison booklet or poster comparing at least four models of the same item showing features, costs, etc. with best items selected and reasons why. Use drawings or photos to illustrate
Analysis of newspaper, magazine or television advertising explaining information given and emotional appeal
Example of guarantee/warranty and explanation of what it means
Example of a consumer complaint/how settled
Teaching plan, game, activity, etc. used to teach others about consumer education and report on results of use
Three different sources of information for consumer comparisons and an example of how these sources were used
Teaching plan, game, activity, etc. used to teach others about consumer education and report on results of use
A two-quart sample of any variety of shelled corn from previous year
Germinate 50 seeds of corn. Arrange seeds according to strong and weak sprouts. Explain how you made the germination test.
Bundle of 5 stalks of corn cut at ground line
Comparison of shelled corn samples (different varieties, different strengths/weaknesses, etc.)
Comparison of stalk samples (different varieties, etc.)
10 ears of corn
An experiment conducted using corn
A recipe you have found and used with corn as the base
Examples of pesticide or herbicide use on corn plants
A report about corn (how technology has affected progress, how the markets work, impacts of herbicides/pesticides, uses of corn, etc.)
Examples of how biotechnology impacts the growth and final crop; either in a report or bring examples
A report or display about the marketing process (follow a product from harvest to market and possibly into a consumer’s hands)
Report on ethanol or the ethanol industry
An education display illustrating one of the following: plant reproduction, soils, plant growth factors, plant characteristics, growing and using plants, plant growth and food production
Examples of plant disease and the life cycle of that disease explaining causes and control
An art object made from a pattern or kit that teaches and develops skills for creative activity
Paint By Number painting completed
A project made at Project Day
An item made from your own creation but copied from a picture/magazine article, etc.
Latch Hook pillow or rug
Any art object which is original (not from a pattern or kit). The idea must be the exhibitors that no other person has produced before.
Exhibit mediums may include painting, drawing, collage, scratch art, crop art, plaster strips, marquetry, wax, paper, fabric, etc.
Jewelry by your design
Science exhibit explaining some phase of electricity. Examples are: how electric motors work; how electricity is generated; principles of a transistor or vacuum tube; safe use of electricity, such as reason for grounding appliances; magnetism and its relationship to electricity; magnets
Display or written report on how electricity is used for family living, communicating, producing goods and services, etc.
Display or written report on electronics
Build a flashlight, troublelight, circuit display, etc.
Insect collection - Collect various insects and mount and label them. For information on how to collect and mount your insects, the Extension Office has materials that describe exactly how to do it. You could use a field guide to identify all your bugs.
Study the life cycle (metamorphosis) of a specific insect. One way to do this would be to find a caterpillar and watch it as it creates a cocoon and then becomes a butterfly.
Study a disease or problem associated with insects. Write a report or create a presentation/display on this topic.
Learn about insecticides. Find some insecticides in your house (Off!, Skin so Soft, etc.) and study their labels. Research the uses of insecticides and learn the positive and negative aspects of using them. Create a report or presentation with this information.
Make a poster showing the equipment used to prepare an animal for show.
Make a poster which explains the differences in the animal (ex: how different breeds are used and have been used throughout time for work, pleasure, show, etc.)
Make a poster labeling animal parts
Study an animal and create a poster, scrapbook, essay on what you found
Exploring the Environment
Choose one living thing in the forest, field or stream. Develop display to describe ecosystem
Display on environmental pollution—describe the pollution, causes, effects on people and other living things, methods to correct the situation
Display showing safety practices and/or study equipment to use when taking a hike in the forest, through field or stream
Identify, mount and label a plant book of 10 different Minnesota plants. Select a theme such as trees, shrubs, weeds, wildlife food or shelter, human food, survival food for humans, poisonous plants, wild flowers, aquatic plants, plants for beauty, food, medicine and/or flavorings, etc.
Bird book of 10 Minnesota birds including pictures/drawings of birds and information on habit, food, nesting, coloration, differences in species between forest, and field
Display showing erosion control practices like minimum tillage, terraces, contour strips, grassed waterways, field windbreaks, water control structures, etc.
Display on career themes such as forestry, entomology, agriculture, wildlife
Trees and shrubs—a tree book of leaves and twigs from 10 different trees and shrubs. Identify each one
Trees and shrubs—identify and mount 10 cross section cuttings of wood. List present day uses of each wood
Diary of a favorite tree, shrubs, plants, park or natural place
Display showing how plants grow including effect of soil, water, air and sun on growth
A display describing the ecology (food pyramid) of a farm pond
Report or display on an animal’s tracks, home habits and foods
Display or inventory of plants, animals, birds, insects or other living things in your backyard or defined natural community
Display or report on soil, showing features of soils such as color, structure, texture, differences in forest and field soils
Identify, mount, and label 10 insects of Minnesota. Use a theme like: insects of the forest, insects of the field, aquatic insects, insects beneficial to people; insects harmful to people
An animal book of 10 wild or aquatic animals of Minnesota include pictures/drawings and information on habits, foods, shelter needs
Fish identification—10 fish of Minnesota; describe their habitat and food needs
Life history—develop a panel display explaining the life history of Minnesota fish
A model or exhibit identifying the internal and external parts of a fish
Safety—safety practices and techniques that are related to fishing or boating
A fisheries management plan—show practices related to the development and control of fish populations
Water quality—examples of how it affects the fish's ecosystem
Fishing knots—identify how and where each knot is used
Fishing equipment—fishing equipment which is made or repaired. Examples are: lures (flies, spinners, plastic baits, plugs, or jigs), fishing rods and reels, ice fishing rig or other fishing equipment
Natural baits—use examples of at least five kinds of natural bait and how they are used, captured, cared for, and transported
Artificial lures—display how the lures use color, flash, sound, smell or action to attract fish
High technology fishing accessories—advantages and limitations of at least two types
Fish cleaning/preparation—care of fish, cleaning fish, nutrition, and recipes
Fish trophies—show fish carvings, fish prints, fish casts, head mounts of fish or fish taxidermy
Careers—vocations and careers that relate to fisheries
Other displays which demonstrate what the member has learned and accomplished in the fishing sports project
Live plant material will be accepted if it can be maintained in a fresh condition with ease. If not, adaptation such as photographs in place of live material may be made
My flower garden—an action exhibit. Include a plan of the garden drawn to scale (see Flower Gardening Bulletin, page 3), the correct varietal names and pictures (or photographs) of the flowers grown. Are they annuals or perennials? Describe how soil was prepared, kind and amount of fertilizer used and reasons for selecting certain varieties of flowers. Did you sow seeds or use transplants? Is the garden in the sun or shade? Give date of planting and first bloom for each flower and describe care of the garden (watering, mulching, weed, insect and disease control). You may want to include photographs to show progress of your garden through the summer
Annual flowers—3 stems of same variety arranged in vase
Perennial flowers—1 stem in vase
Summer flowering bulbs—1 specimen arranged in vase
An arrangement consisting of annuals, perennials or a combination of both. Flower arrangement can be used for a centerpiece, viewed from all sides OR a flower arrangement viewed from one side only. Either arrangement should be in a suitable container
Collection of annual flowers—3 varieties represented, 3 stems of each variety
Collection of perennial flowers—3 varieties represented, 3 stems per variety
Summer flowering bulbs—1 variety, 3 blooms
Food & Nutrition
One nutritious vegetable or fruit dish. Include 8-1/2” x 11” poster showing nutritional value, recipe, and photo of the food
Nutritious snack food, include 8-1/2” x 11” poster showing nutritional value, recipe and photo of food
Study of nutrients needed for yourself or someone else using the dietary guidelines and Food Guide Pyramid
Make a fitness plan for yourself or someone else and show how it relates to the food you eat and to your health
Make a plan for yourself or someone else for foods that should be eaten for a day and explain how the plan meets nutritional and energy needs (ex: an athlete on a volleyball team, a teen who doesn't have a lot of time)
(Food and Nutrition continued….)
Study of how physical fitness and/or food choices are related to disease (cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis, diabetes, etc.)
Study of three or more labels from similar food items comparing important nutrient content like fat, fiber and sugar
Explain how five or more nutritious snack choices fit into a healthy diet
Exhibit showing food and/or kitchen safety
Careers in nutrition and food industry
Compare food products for nutrition, cost and convenience.
Food Education Display – develop an idea of your own or choose one of the following ideas:
Study of basic ingredients in quick and/or yeast breads and their purpose
Comparison of different types of flours (hard/soft, wheat, rye, oats, corn etc.)
Exhibit of the similarities, differences, and/or significance of bread products in various cultures
Comparison and/or study of bread, cereal or pasta products
Comparison appearances, flavor, texture, nutrition, cost, and/or time savings in purchased and homemade products
Study of experiments in adapting recipes to special dietary needs
Educational exhibit on sweet dough, specialty breads or pastas
Exhibit on storage and preservation of bread products
Make changes in bread/cereal recipe or dairy recipe so it will be a more healthy choice
Compare the nutrient content of different forms/kinds of dairy products and how it is related to health (ex: low fat and “regular” cheese)
Modification of a recipe containing dairy products to reduce fat and/or sodium
Food Education Display/Science Experiment - choose one of the following ideas or develop your own:
Creative exhibit showing daily calcium requirements for a person your age. Include several different combinations of food to meet the daily requirements
Exhibit showing amount of fat per serving in six or more different dairy products
Comparison of nutrition and calories of different forms of milk
Study of six or more different kinds of cheeses. Include nutrition and different uses for each
Creative exhibit showing importance of vitamins and minerals that dairy products supply a person your age. Include information on food sources of these nutrients, daily requirements and why they are needed
Exhibit comparing nutritive value of real dairy products with non-dairy substitutes
Dairy food careers (other than owning or operating a dairy farm)
Food Education/Science Experiment Display. Choose one of the following ideas or develop your own:
Identifying retail meat cuts, differences in cost and nutritional factors
Comparing meat labels
Storage and preservation of meat
Nutritional values of meat
Menus using meat products
Food Education Display/Science Experiment - choose one of the following ideas or use your own:
Buying microwave equipment
Understanding mechanics of microwave
Menu and diet planning using microwave
Study of how microwave cooking affects food (including nutrition, appearance, taste, etc.)
Beginner Grades 3 – 5 ideas:
Any food item
4 muffins from a mix or from scratch
1 cup pudding
After school snack
1 serving of an appetizer, snack, bread or dessert prepared in the microwave
Creative use of refrigerator biscuits
1 loaf quick bread—banana, cranberry, etc.
Bread machine bread
1 cup serving of BBQ or Sloppy Joe
Cake from a mix—bring a 4” square from corner of a pan
Any item prepared in the microwave
Prepare a sack lunch
Intermediate Grades 6 – 8 ideas:
A fruit or vegetable salad with a homemade dressing
1 cup serving of a protein-rich casserole
Pizza crust (with topping)—not from a mix
Homemade candy, fudge, divinity, or hard candy
Homemade fruit yogurt
Homemade custard or pie
1 loaf of white yeast bread or one loaf of whole wheat yeast bread
1 cup serving of a homemade soup or casserole prepared in the microwave
1 serving of vegetable or fruit made in microwave
Exhibit expressing idea from book – calorie needs for individual, table setting, menu
Display/poster/mobile showing nutritional value of a fast food meal, safety in handling a kitchen appliance, facts on food myths, table manners
Study of basic ingredients in a bread product and their purpose—including different flours
Study of the nutritional value of bread and cereals/dairy products/meat products and how it fits into a healthy diet for yourself or someone else
Exhibit showing proper storage and handling of dairy products/meat and how safety and quality are affected
Study of how microwave cooking affects food—including nutrition, appearance, taste, etc.
Poster or display on microwave safety
Menu planning using microwave cooking
Senior Grades 9+ ideas:
A pasta dish using items from other food groups—vegetables, meats, etc.
Foreign or ethnic food using new spices and/or new cooking methods
Stir-fry featuring two or more vegetables plus a protein source
2-crust fruit pie made from scratch
Candy made from scratch
1 serving of an International food—Swedish meatballs, lefse, lasagna, etc.
1 loaf of specialty/international bread
1 loaf of cheese bread
4 dinner rolls
Item made from sweet roll dough
Food product using low-fat dairy foods as substitutions
Food item that uses three or more dairy products
1 serving of grilled or broiled meat
1 serving of meat, fish or poultry
Exhibit showing how meat and meat products, dairy products or bread and cereal products affect the health and/or economy of our county, state, country and/or world
Study showing retail meat cuts, differences in cost and nutritional factors and how to use in menu planning
Make changes in recipes containing meat/dairy products/bread and cereal products so they will be a more healthy choice
Jar of fruit
Jar of vegetables (including tomatoes)
Jar of jams, jellies or preserves
Jar of low-sugar spread
Jar of different meats, poultry and/or fish
(Food Preservation continued….)
Jar of type pickle products (fermented or added acid including pickles, sauerkraut, relishes, salsa)
Dried vegetables or fruits
Beef or venison jerky
Food science experiment
See Premium Book for display requirements
Menu planning ideas:
Tree identification—collect six leaves or needles with twigs and identify them with their common name. Leaves (or needles) with twigs should be mounted on stiff backing such as cardboard or tag board. Common name should be printed near the identified leaf/needle
Name that Tree—display showing leaf and twig identification; taxonomic keys; tree road maps
Forest products—display photographs of six products/uses from the forest. Photographs should be mounted on stiff backing such as cardboard or tag board. Include the name of the product/use to identify the photograph
My favorite tree—prepare a report with drawings about your favorite tree. Report should include name of tree, drawings or pictures of tree, facts and uses of the tree, and other appropriate information
Forestry and You—display showing layers of the forest; renewable versus non-renewable resources; forestry careers
A Day in the Life of a Tree—display showing tree growth; annual ring cross-sections; make a seed collection
Change in the Forest—display showing forest succession; wildlife specialists versus generalists
Finding Your Way—display showing compass routes; maps you make
Measuring the Forest—displays showing tree and forest measurements
Displays showing fire's affect on the forest
Silviculture—display showing how trees grow; forest types; harvesting methods
Insects and Diseases of the Forest—display showing entomology of the forest; pathology of the forest
Wood Products—display showing forest products, including maple syrup production; wood products; Christmas trees
Multiple Resources—display showing other resources of the forest, including recreation, wildlife and watershed
Specialized Woodlands—display showing specialized woodland management, including shelterbelts/windbreaks and urban forestry
History of forest industry
Exhibit of one kind of fruit; any of the following: strawberries, raspberries, clusters of grapes, apples, pears, plums, crabapples, etc.
A plate of 6 large fruits or 12 small fruits grown from home fruit planting
A science display showing weed or insect control in fruit production
24 rocks, minerals or fossils from within the state of Minnesota—member should have a knowledge of how specimens are identified as to rock or fossil type. Specimens should be approximately 2" x 2" or smaller
48 rocks or minerals on a definite theme such as metamorphism, weathering, quartz minerals, ores or a theme of your own choosing.
Soft Rock Special—24 fossils of which 50 percent are of Minnesota origin. Label each specimen with class name (such as brachiopod, pelecypod, etc.) and the
general name (such as strophomena), horizon (such as Decorah shale) and location. Glass topped box is recommended.
Iron ore display—display the nine ore bearing minerals in Minnesota—hematite, goethite, limonite, magnetite, taconite, pyrite, manganite, pyrolusite, and rhodonite. Glass top box for display is recommended.
At least five different polished rock types used to make decorative items such as paperweights and jewelry. Include information on techniques and procedures used. Display case should have a locked glass top
Science exhibit—an exhibit to show the science hows and whys dealing with the principles of geology and natural earth sciences.
Demonstrate how a volcano works or how glaciers shaped the landscape
12 rocks, minerals or fossils. Specimens can be displayed in an egg carton, cigar box, or any type of display box. Specimens should be from 1” x 1” to 2” x 2”. Label the specimen with a number and attach a card to the top of the carton or box. On the card write the following:
The number of each specimen along with the most accurate name you can apply to it.
Your own name (once at the top).
Location of where you found the specimens.
Year the specimens were found.
Exhibits may include a poster, display or booklet. 4-Hers may additionally share their project work through a computer based presentation. Exhibitors will need to bring the appropriate software and presentation data.
Appropriate work in this area can include investigation into the history of GIS and/or GPS, current uses, equipment and software, and more. Development of GIS maps that incorporate waypoints and trails created through GPS are encouraged.
Select at least three activities covered in the 4-H Global Connections curriculum and explain the objectives of each activity, procedures for learning and lessons learned. Or describe in detail the steps taken and the results of your sharing of this information with your club, federation meetings, in school, camps, or in the community
Display or report on different customs and cultures
Exhibit on international flavors.
How foods from other countries have been incorporated into American eating habits.
Report on foods from other cultures and what they tell about that given culture.
Exhibit showing how the climate, religion and values of culture affect clothing people wear
Report on how nations far away and those close by, are connected economically, politically, socially, and environmentally.
Exhibit on environmental awareness such as toxic materials, global warming, water quality and the loss of valuable tropical rain forest, wildlife and plants
Health scrapbook, collection of magazine articles/tips on health; ads promoting healthy lifestyles, medicines or cures; ads showing unhealthy lifestyles and explanation of methods to change the behavior to make it healthy; pictures/magazine ads/articles stating the importance of exercise; pictures of unsafe conditions you have taken; report summarizing articles/ads you have seen
Careers in medicine; history of medicine—the progression through the years; how a medicine (or practice/technique) came to be useful; written presentation about medical history; diseases—history and prevention
Health Activity—story by pictures, collection of magazine tips and articles on health in a scrapbook
Exhibit that explores a specific health issue—treatments, medication, risks, prognosis, etc.
Organize a health-related event
Beginner Grades 3 – 5 suggestions:
Item for care and/or maintenance of home
Constructed or purchased storage unit or item
Useful or decorative item made for the home
Original item for the home made from a discarded item
Finished or refinished wood item
Repaired or restored item for the home
An item with a link to the past. A report should include the family ties or history of the item, its past use and its present use in the home
Item or procedure to make the home safe
Item and/or plan for conserving energy or natural resources such as recycling, etc.
Chart and/or plan for care and maintenance of personal space in the home including daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly jobs
Planning file with pictures, articles and ideas on design, furnishings, furniture, decorating, remodeling, and/or floor plans, etc. with notes on how and why ideas could be used
File with appliance and equipment manuals, articles and pictures on use, maintenance and management with notes on how and why ideas could be used in the home
Diagram and analysis of a room's arrangement, traffic patterns, activity space, and storage space with suggestions for change if needed
Intermediate Grades 6 – 8 suggestions:
Care and maintenance products for the home stored in proper containers
Chart and/or plan for the care and maintenance of the inside or outside of the home including daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly jobs
Chart and/or plan for efficient storage of specific items in rooms, closets, basement, garage or attic, etc. including what was done to make that storage suitable for the items with before-and-after photos
Description, diagrams/photos and samples of room decorating plan including style, design, color scheme, textures, and costs
Description, diagrams/photos, samples (if appropriate) and costs of a redecorating plan showing before and after
Description, diagrams/photos, samples (if appropriate) and costs of an exterior remodeling plan showing before and after
Comparison study with photos/illustrations, labels (if appropriate) and explanation of consumer choice skills used in selecting an item for the home
Original item designed and made for the home and/or its surroundings
Senior Grades 9+ suggestions
Photo/diagram and explanation of lighting for a specific purpose with explanation of why this type of lighting and style of fixture was chosen
Comparison and evaluation of five floor plans giving advantages/disadvantages and why
A study with diagrams/photos and report of furniture styles and their history
A study with diagrams/photos and report of architectural styles and their histories
Floor plan of your home with furnishings, traffic patterns and work/activity areas identified; analysis of how efficient and functional it is with suggestions for changes if needed
Study of housing alternatives in your community including types, quantity, costs, advantages and disadvantages for stages of life cycle; analysis and evaluation; suggestions for changes if needed
Study of old building(s) or house(s) in your community with photos/diagrams and report on history, design style, original use, changes made, new/different uses and your evaluation of it
A remedy for cold climate housing problems such as rot, mildew, condensation, etc. caused by poor indoor air quality and super insulation
A study/analysis of changes in the people and the home when there is a family-based business in the home
A study of home environment-related careers based on information from researching printed materials and talking to people in various types of related careers
A teaching kit with planned lesson activities and teaching materials
Any indoor plant(s)
Display/binder/poster on watering techniques
Checking and controlling insects
Complete cultivation requirements of one of the 3 plants the member grew. Include the common and botanic names
Starting plants from seeds
Two different varieties of houseplants, one plant of each variety, in the same container
Asexual plant propagation
Natural history of one of the plants the member grew including the plant origin and its uses
Plant adaptations to their environment for cacti and succulents
Forcing bulbs which require a cold treatment
Soil-less versus soil mixes for indoor plants
Life cycle of flowering plants
Environmental concerns—habitat destruction
Commercial greenhouse production
Members plant experiment
House Plants in Hanging Containers
Lawn and Landscape
Landscape plan—the poster/binder/display should be drawn to scale with plants and major areas of yard labeled. Changes and future plans should be shown. Photographs showing before and after views are desirable. Posters showing physiology of a tree are not acceptable for state fair.
A plan of your entire home lawn drawn to scale. Label areas and describe any changes made and/or future plans
Display of evergreen and/or deciduous landscape materials
Landscape plan drawn to scale of your home showing public service and private areas. Show before and after effects. Show changes and future plans. Drawn to scale with plants and major areas of your yard labeled.
Display of weeds and/or insects common to the lawn or yard effects and treatment recommendation
Display of lawn grass seeds, diseases and how to control them, experimental display of landscape accessories, soil testing, effects of fertilizer rates, ratio, and weed control
Lawn care business
Any knitted or crocheted item made by the member, may include: sweater, afghan, mittens, gloves, hats, scarves, slippers, cap, toy, belt, etc.
Comparison and evaluation of materials, supplies, or accessories used for knitting, crocheting or needlework
Historical/Cultural Study. Story, poster or display about a knitted, crocheted or needlework heirloom from your family or local history museum. Exhibit should include information about how item should be preserved
Poster, scrapbook or display showing how knitted, crocheted or needlework product is or could be priced, advertised and marketed in your community or state
Any needlework item made by the member
Knitted, crocheted or needlework samples mounted and labeled as to kind of stitch and type of yarn or thread
A performance such as vocal, musical instrument, dance, mime, comedy, reading, etc. Performances should be 5 minutes or less in length
Report or journal of your experiences in the project or related to a performing arts experience
3-D display or poster that explains something you did or learned in the project
Original composition of music
Personal scrapbook of experiences
Original puppet and/or story it was made for
Original play or script
Original story, skit, poem, or pantomime
Educational display about performing arts
Pet could include cat, dog, hamsters, guinea pigs, gerbils, fish, turtles, birds, exotic animals, etc. Live pets are judged separately from pet posters
Educational display, poster, or photographs of member caring for and/or interacting with their pet.
Selection, appropriateness, cost, etc. of a pet
Photography (Digital & Conventional)
A photo story of five to seven photographs
Four close-up photographs of different people
Four pictures—one each of a person, landscape, building, and animal
Four pictures illustrating different seasons of the year (need not be the same scene)
Four of the best photos you have taken this year
Five candid action photos of different people
Four pictures—one each of texture, pattern, shape and contrast
Create a panorama of 3-5 snapshot size pictures
One enlargement of any subject
Do four of the following: indoor picture using existing light, photo taken with accessory close-up equipment, photo showing effective or creative use of depth of field, candid or action photo of a person, a photo of a person outdoors using fill-in flash or reflector fill, outdoor night time exposure of 2 seconds or more, indoor, still-life picture using more than one light
Four to six photographs on a common theme (patriotism, human emotions, environmental issues, home town, etc.)
Computer enhanced enlargement of any photograph. Original photographic print should be placed in an envelope and attached to the back of the exhibit
One photographically realistic image which as been completely digitally produced
Slide show with written script. Slides should be in plastic slide sheets
A computer screen show of images with an accompanying written script
Photo Journalism—a typed feature story of 300-500 words with 3-5 photographs with proper cropping marks and captions. Exhibit should be displayed in plastic sleeves bound in a paper or plastic folder
Portrait Photography—portrait enlargements of children, couples, groups, individuals, animals, etc.
Realistic images which have been completely digitally produced
Digital/computer enhanced enlargements of different photographs. Original photographic prints should be placed in an envelope and attached to the back of each exhibit
Do four of the following:
Indoor picture using existing light
Photo taken with accessory close-up equipment
Photo showing effective use of depth of field
Candid or action photo of a person
Photo of a person outdoors using fill-in or reflector fill
Outdoor night-time exposure of two seconds or more
Indoor, still-life picture using more than one light
Plant and Soil Science
Poster/display/binder on one of the following:
Plant growth factors
Growing and using plants
Plant growth and food production
Ten different leaf or whole plant specimens of farm crops or weeds
12 potatoes (this year’s crop) similar in size with variety identified on a 3x5 card
History of the potato
Profile of the life of a potato, from being a seed to being a French fry at McDonalds
Common potato diseases
Any quilted item: quilt, lap quilt, pillow top, vest, clothing item, etc.
A booklet about the process involved in making a quilt
The repair of a quilted item
The history of your quilt-and/or quilts and styles
Robot can either be programmable or remote controlled
Robot can be created by an individual or a group
May include models, diagrams or pictures versus an actual robot
Winter Survival Kit—might include: two 1-gallon cans with plastic coverings, matches, candles, flashlight, extra warm clothing, supply of high calorie non-perishable food, compass, pocket knife. Include a list of other items too big for the kit, such as: sleeping bag, jumper cables, tow chain, etc. Include items you think could be useful
Safety Activity—story by pictures, collection of magazine tips, and articles on safety in a scrapbook
First Aid Kit for car should contain a dust proof container, labeled properly, latched securely, able to identify items and kit should contain items suggested
First Aid Kit for home should include: tube of petroleum jelly, absorbent cotton, dressings, fever thermometer, gauze bandages of different sizes, adhesive tape, sterile gauze squares, scissors, tweezers, aspirin, First Aid Book, elastic bandages, minor burns and cuts treatment
Unsafe item restored to safe condition (a written explanation of the problem and how it was solved is necessary)
Occupational Safety (farm, kitchen, construction, business, etc.), such as report containing hazards in occupation and methods to make conditions safe; interviews with employees who work in unsafe conditions and how that affects their job; interviews with employees who work in safe conditions and how that affects their job; pictures of unsafe conditions found in a workplace; report or story telling of experiences with unsafe equipment; report or story telling of experiences learning about safety (day camp or training, etc.)
Self-defense, such as kit of items used for personal protection; booklet or report about techniques used in self-defense
Scrapbooking isn’t recognized as a state project yet but Swift County 4-H offers it! Members wishing to take their scrapbook to the State Fair will take it as a “craft”
Any sized scrapbook created by you:
Ongoing scrapbooks can be exhibited but must be able to show judge where the “old” portion of the scrapbook gives way to the “new” portion
A paper bag scrapbook or word album scrapbook
Digitalized scrapbooks are accepted but must be able to explain to judge what process was used and through which online site
Shooting Sports/Wildlife Mgmt
Safety—safety techniques applied to shooting activities. Examples are: range commands and range safety, eye and ear protection, cleaning a firearm, dressing for safety, first aid or survival skills
Wildlife biology/wildlife management—basic concepts of wildlife management. Examples are waterfowl wingboards, birdhouse trails, game animal habitat requirements, history of game management, etc.
Game identification—a display illustrating key field identification features of a group of game animals; distinguishing various species of puddle ducks, diving ducks, big game, etc.; differences among five look-alike species of upland game birds, etc.
Archery shooting skills—examples: basic safety rules, parts and functions of each piece of equipment, care and maintenance, accessories or positions
(Shooting Sports continued…..)
Shotgun shooting skills—examples: basic safety rules, basic parts and functions of each piece of equipment, care and maintenance, shooting accessories or positions
Air pistol shooting skills—examples: basic safety rules, parts and functions of each piece of equipment, care and maintenance, accessories or positions
Rifle shooting skills—examples: basic safety rules, parts and functions of each piece of equipment, care and maintenance, accessories or positions
Muzzle loading shooting skills—examples: basic safety rules, parts and functions of each piece of equipment, care and maintenance, accessories or positions
Youth leadership—show your work as a youth leader in shooting sports club
History and nomenclature of trapping, hunting, firearms, and non-game wildlife
Sportsmanship—ethical behavior and responsibility, effects of values to wildlife of modern game laws and regulations
Game cookery—game that is preserved or prepared for current table use with nutrition information included (this exhibit will be evaluated by a food and nutrition judge)
Taxidermy and associated activities
Project activities not applicable to any of the above—gunsmithing, orienteering, wildlife photography
Report about shooting safety
History of shooting—progression of guns and uses
Story about shooting sports (first hunting/shooting experience, etc.)—may use pictures to support the story
Unsafe items restored to safe condition—written explanation of problem and how solved
Booklet of articles/tips on shooting safety
Poster of your choice (i.e. tips on safety, parts of a gun, etc.)
Shop (wood and/or metal)
Article made of wood (cutting board, bread board, tie rack, bookends, foot stool, shop stool, bird house, small tool chest, simple furniture, lawn chair, workbench, tool box, gun rack, or furniture)
Wooden article—repaired, finished or refinished
Science exhibit—an exhibit on properties, uses or processing of wood
Articles made of metal
Purchased "unfinished" article finished
Leatherwork— useful for farm, home, or self
Educational exhibit on properties, uses, or processing of wood
Poster on small engine safety
Poster on small engine maintenance
Any constructed article or device to assist member
Display of spark plugs showing proper plug and improper or defective plug
Science exhibit such as explaining why various repair and maintenance work should be done. May be poster or display
A small engine you overhauled or repaired
Special science display on small engines. Entries should be mounted on plywood, maisonette or other sturdy material for display and may consist of either single display or series as a unit. Scrapbook and/or photo album can be included with the display
Engine that has been reconstructed and the engine should now be in good running order
Safety poster on any lawn and garden equipment
Poster on what makes equipment run
Display on maintenance or equipment operations (i.e. gears, belts, etc.)
Display comparing 2 cycle versus 4 cycle engines
Lawn and garden equipment or some other application of small engines
Small Grains and Legumes
Oats, Wheat, Barley—a two-quart sample of any variety from the previous year crop
Soybeans—a two-quart sample of any variety from the previous year crop
(Small Grains and Legumes continued….)
Germinate 50 seeds of soybeans, oats, or alfalfa. Arrange seeds according to strong and weak sprouts. Explain how you made the germination test. Display should be started 2 weeks prior to exhibition
Comparison of soybean samples in a 1 quart jar (at least 2 samples)
Comparison of soybean plant samples
An experiment conducted using soybeans
A recipe you have found and used with soybeans as the base
Examples of pesticide or herbicide use on soybean plants
A report about soybeans/small grains (how technology has affected progress, how the markets work, impacts of herbicides/ pesticides, uses of soybeans, etc.)
Examples of how biotechnology impacts the growth and final crop; either in a report or bring examples
A report or display about the marketing process (follow a product from harvest to market and into a consumer’s hands)
Display/poster/binder on the bio-diesel industry
A refurbished tractor
Display of spark plugs showing proper plug as well as improper and defective spark plugs
Science exhibit such as explaining why various repair and maintenance work should be done
Purchasing decisions for your tractor or comparing costs of tractor use on their operation
Collection of different kinds of vegetables. The number of vegetables needed varies by size of vegetable. Refer to “Preparing Vegetables for Exhibit” bulletin in Extension Office.
A display or poster showing the parts of a vegetable plant. Label each part
A display showing the difference of development between thinned vs. unthinned vegetables
A display of six common weeds and/or insects causing damage to your garden. Identify and label each. Describe how each weed or insect can be controlled
A display showing ten common vegetables and plant parts of each used for food
Garden experiment. A display showing the experimental suggestions in the advanced garden record
Exhibit might be an exhibit explaining an animal body function, such as the pulse, body temperature, respiration rate of different animals, etc.
Exhibit could be a cycle of an animal disease
Exhibit explaining a type of disease infestation on the body or type of immunity
Describe the challenges and benefits seen for the future of the livestock industry
Impacts on local water systems, drinking water, soil, etc. from feedlots without restrictions
How the livestock industry impacts the environment
Effects of pesticides on livestock—from feeds, water, etc.
Describe the process needed to complete a manure management plan and benefits to doing so
Create a poster which illustrates one of the following: how a video camera works, how a VCR/DVD works, how to take care of video equipment
Read the instruction manual for your camera. Then make a 3-5 minute video which demonstrates the functions of your camera. Bring your instruction manual with you for conference judging.
Make a video which shows your most creative camera work this year. Include at least 10 different shots using various techniques. (Shots from different "shoots" should be copied onto a single tape for judging—they need not be related or tell a story).
Create a video on one subject
A video tape made by using the functions built into your camcorder or camera and recorder system (in-camera editing)
A video tape made by using two video recorders (one for playback and one for recording) to copy the scenes you have shot into the proper sequence (simple editing)
A video tape made by using a device which controls both playback and record decks to copy the scenes you have shot into the proper sequence (editing controller)
A video tape made by using a combination of computer technology and traditional video
A notebook which includes pre-production plans, the projected audience, program objectives, the storyboard, script and production activity log
Exhibits in the following can be produced by 2 people who share production responsibilities equally. A daily diary should be kept which clearly shows each person's responsibilities and activities throughout the production.
Create a 60 second Public Service Announcement. All titles/credits should be in addition to the primary 60 seconds.
Create a video which can be used to inform, sell, train, or entertain viewers on one specific subject.
A video production, output to tape, which incorporates computer technology.
Exhibit to show one or more of the unique physical properties of water
Display to show the hydrologic or water cycle
Display showing the quantities and uses made of water by families, municipalities, industries, animals, and plants
Display on water quality or management—pollution, conservation, water quality standards
Display showing the life cycle of your favorite wild (not domestic) animal
Birdhouse with information such as bird to be used for, number of broods per year, size of clutch, incubation time, age before flight, benefits to man, winter habitat, etc.
Homemade bird book of 10 local birds including pictures or drawings of birds and reports of habits, nesting, food, etc.
Homemade bird feeder with information such as species of bird intended for, types and/or samples of feed used, where and how it will be mounted
Display of life-size pencil drawings or plaster casts of at least five animal tracks showing individual footprints and trail patterns
Animal book of 10 wild animals of Minnesota—describe habitat, food and shelter needs
Wildlife management plan—show practices related to land use and forest management for wildlife
Mammal skulls properly cleaned and labeled with the proper common and scientific names (genus and species) for each animal
Animal tagging (banding) process and an explanation of the usefulness of the process
Animal aging technique with an explanation of the process and its usefulness. Tooth wear for deer, wing or tail feather wear for birds and waterfowl are examples of appropriate techniques
Special projects—a display or exhibit showing a concept or idea you've studied in the wildlife project. This exhibit must relate to wildlife and/or the ecological chain
Report about wildlife—local endangered species, unusual patterns of a local animal, other interesting characteristics about animals, their habits or lifestyles
Story about wildlife—could include your experiences or your interests in the project area
Drawing you have made relating to a wildlife area or animals
Booklet of articles relating to the wildlife project area
Food Chain explanation
A written narrative in notebook form of your leadership role in your club. Divide your narrative into groupings which may include the following: holding an elected office, committee work, part of event management, project organizer, on-going yearly responsibilities in a planned club program, and fund raising.
(Youth Leadership continued….)
Present a selected event/situation, activity in which you accepted a leadership role. May range from organizing to ethical dilemma, to visioning role. May be supported by visuals. Written script could be submitted in notebook or portfolio and may be supported by 3-sided poster display as appropriate.
Poster display, if appropriate, must inform public of role, event, leadership skills used, may use photos, and other media to tell a story
A written narrative and/or visual communication presentation of 8 to 10 minutes, using photos, video and/or slides, to show how you worked with others in your community to solve problems.
A display promoting 4-H
A video tape/DVD or slide set with written and/or taped narration relating to some aspect of Youth Leadership, teaching, 4-H promotion, etc., to be given as a presentation in the conference judging setting.
A complete lesson plan for a project meeting/activity which you have presented. Include a teaching outline with objectives, information to be presented, teaching techniques to be used, charts or other visual aids used, and documented with photos of the activity
Resource file of games, songs, demonstration ideas, etc., in an index box or 3-ring binder. Include information on how you used the file
Written documentation of your leadership role with councils, committees; your club, county, or regional; and/or state level involvement in 4-H and other groups. Divide your documentation into sections:
1) identify each group and your roles,
2) what was your contribution to the group, 3) what did you gain from the experiences, 4) can or will you transfer the learning from this experience to other activities of your life,
5) how do you plan to do this. You may support and expand your documentation with photos.
Display or report on leadership. Suggestions include: most important leadership skills and why, spotlight on admired leaders and why, follow a local, state, national or global event and the actions of leaders in that situation, what is ethical leadership, or other topic of interest.
A one-minute radio spot for use in promoting 4-H
Display or report on youth as leaders. Include most important skills, ways to build skills and teamwork, challenges, ways to invite adults to be supporters, and supporting other youth to lead
A photo story with captions, describing your experiences as a Youth Leader this past year
Cloverbuds may show any of the above project areas under the general header of “cloverbuds”. Cloverbuds are non-competitive and receive participation ribbons.
The Cloverbud Policy stated when animals and Cloverbuds are together at 4-H activities, such as show, an adult/responsible person will be in control of the animal (control means to handle or lead the animal) at all times.