This morning I judged the LEGO and K’nex categories at the NC State Fair. This year there were six categories.
- Age 3-8 Kit
- Age 9-15 Kit
- Age 3-8 Original
- Age 9-15 Original
- Age 3-8 North Carolina theme
- Age 9-15 North Carolina theme
Joe Meno was supposed to judge with me but Joe is out of the country so I was on my own. The process was much smoother than last year. The models were spread out and grouped by category so I didn’t have to hunt all over the place to find the ones which should be judged against each other.
Judging kits is tough as you are essentially judging a child’s ability to follow instructions. I primarily considered the age of the child and the presentation of the model for the kit categories. Last year Joe and I had suggested they eliminate the kit category but it showed up again. I think I persuaded the Chair Woman to eliminate it for next year and to possibly add an adult category!
The wording in the Fair Guidebook wasn’t great so the NC theme category didn’t explicitly state that models should be original but that was the intent so I judged it that way. Much to my surprise, there were only 5 entries in each age group. In each group someone had entered the LEGO Wright Flyer set which while impressive, didn’t really capture the intent of the category. I am sure the uninformed public will wonder why those models didn’t win but that fact there are two of them will hopefully allow people to realize they aren’t original creations.
The age 9-15 original category had the bulk of the entries and many of them were very good. In particular, two stood out from the rest, two spaceships together and a large
dragon dinosaur. The contruction of the two spaceships was very good and I picked that entry as the winner.
I had to judge my own children’s models which is hard and I did my best to be fair. In my opinion, they all had excellent entries in their categories and ultimately each ended up with a ribbon although none of them were for first place. I had one of the Hobbies and Crafts staff with me and she agreed with my selections and didn’t know until we were done that my children had entered.
We are off to the fair this weekend so the kids will find out how they did once we get there, I am not going to tell!