Participating at the Fair

One of the many models 4-H uses to help youth thrive is Experiential Learning. Youth learn by doing, reflecting on what they have done and then applying what they learn. The reflection piece to this model is an extremely important part of positive youth development. One way to reflect on what has been learned is by participating in the local fair. 

At the fair, youth (exhibitors) submit projects or entries to be critiqued by state-licensed judges. There are different types of judging or evaluations, but for Outagamie County Junior Fair a conference or interview style is used. Judges will ask questions to the youth to help them reflect on the work they accomplished and to further their learning and application in the future.

Sample questions may include:

  • Tell me about your project.
  • How did you do it?
  • What process did you use?
  • What surprised you about the work you did?
  • What was the most challenging?
  • What skills did you use, practice or gain?
  • What would you like to do differently the next time?
  • What did you learn?
  • Did anyone help you?

The judges are compensated for their time and to share their opinion of projects with the exhibitors. Sometimes exhibitors don’t get the ribbon they think their project deserves, and that is okay. It is important to help youth focus on what was learned and the experience rather than just the outcome. If you need ideas for how to help your child accept constructive feedback here is a great resource.

If during the fair, you have questions about rules or regulations you can reference some of the resources below or contact the group in charge. This may be the Outagamie County Fair Board, the Outagamie County 4-H Educator, or yet another group. 

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