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Look around you and no matter which direction you turn, you will see electricity at work! It might be a clock on the wall, the TV airing your favorite show, the microwave preparing your dinner, or your family car that gets you to and from events! It is strongly suggested that members use recommended construction details including proper color coding provided by the Energy Education Council (EEC) that have been provided on the EEC 4-H website.

Project Levels

Level 1

In level 1, learn to make a flashlight, switch and simple circuit; find out about magnetism and make a compass; and build an electromagnet, galvanometer, or motor.

Level 2

In level 2, learn about Ohm’s law; use a volt-ohm meter; and build a parallel or series circuit, a 3-way switch, or a burglar alarm.

Level 3

In level 3, assemble an electric tool kit, measure electric usage of appliances, replace electrical switches, and determine electrical loads.

Level 4

In level 4, learn about electronics, diodes, transistors, LEDs, photocells, resistors, and capacitors. You can also build an amplifier.

Resources to help you learn

  • Level 1: Magic of Electricity
  • Level 2: Investigating Electricity
  • Level 3: Wired for Power
  • Level 4: Entering Electronics
  • Electric Group Helper's Guide

State Fair Exhibit Rules

Each county may submit 3 entries total from 50177, 50178, 50179, 50180; and 1 entry from 50181. It is strongly suggested that members use recommended construction details including proper color coding provided by the Energy Education Council (EEC) that have been provided on the EEC 4-H website.

Electricity 1 (SF 50177)

May only be battery-powered projects using battery components and wiring. Exhibit a momentary switch, simple switch, basic circuit, electromagnet, galvanometer, OR an electric motor. All projects must include a report explaining how the project was constructed and the principles demonstrated. Recommendations can be found on the website. Projects using paper clips, cardboard, thumbtacks, & brads are not eligible for state fair exhibits in electricity.  Members wishing to exhibit these types of projects should consider exhibiting in Junkdrawer Robotics 1 or 2.

Electricity 2 (50178)

May only be battery-powered projects using battery components and wiring. Exhibit a circuit board demonstrating parallel and series switches, including a circuit diagram; 3-way or 4-way switch circuit using DC/battery; OR a basic electrical device (examples: rocket launcher, burglar alarm, etc.). All projects must include a report explaining how the project was constructed and the principles demonstrated. Recommendations can be found on the website. Projects using paper clips, cardboard, thumbtacks, & brads are not eligible for state fair exhibits in electricity.  Members wishing to exhibit these types of projects should consider exhibiting in Junkdrawer Robotics 1 or 2.

Electricity 3 (SF 50179)

Exhibit a 120V lighting fixture or other appliance which uses a switch; OR two electrical household circuits using 120V materials to comply with National Electrical Code, one with a simple on/off switch to control bulb, and one using 3-way switches to control light from two locations; OR other project which demonstrates principles in the Wired for Power book. All electricity projects must include a report, explaining how the project was constructed, and principles for its operation. Recommendations can be found on the website.

Electricity Ready4Life Challenge (SF 181)

Open to 11- to 18-year-olds enrolled in any Electricity project. Exhibits in this category must include the following: a) a physical representation of the career or business product such as a model, prototype or display/portfolio that includes images of accomplished work; b) verbal or written explanations that demonstrate knowledge of the related career or business fields, potential careers, and the appropriate requirements for achievement in those fields. The judging criteria for this class values thoroughness of career and/or business exploration and pursuit above the workmanship of the physical specimen on display.

Electricity Maker (SF 50400)

Counties may submit 3 entries TOTAL combined from all Maker exhibit divisions.

Exhibits in this category are designed to be multi-disciplinary in nature, innovative, and must not fit into any other exhibit category. To qualify for this category, your project MUST abide by the following guidelines:

  • Exhibits must be an object or device that has an intended purpose and uses technology in either a mechanical way, digital (computer) way, or combination of the two.
  • The device must be something that can be used in everyday life by multiple people (a target audience), and MUST be manufactured/built by the exhibitor (If not fully manufactured by the exhibitor, the device MUST be modified structurally or be reprogramed to perform a different function other than what it was designed to do
  • Exhibit MUST be able to interact with the outside world. (e.g. an on off switch, input sensors, feedback, etc.)
  • Exhibits MUST include a detailed build log with instructions on how to make or build the exhibit, AND contain either a 3D rendering or detailed and labeled sketches of the device/product.
  • All parts and software used in the design/build MUST be listed in a detailed Bill of Materials including cost per item and total cost. Total time spent on the build must be documented in your build log.

In addition, exhibitors are HIGHLY encouraged to use tools such as 3-D printers, laser cutters, routers and/or other hand/power tools to help in the manufacturing process (NOTE: Simply 3-D printing or laser cutting an object without the other specifications does not qualify as a Maker Project). It is also HIGHLY encouraged that exhibits use Open Source Software and/or Hardware in the build.

Local Exhibit 

Electronics 4 (Not eligible for State Fair. Check Local Exhibit Options)

Exhibit any electronic or solid state appliance. Exhibitor must be able to explain how the project was constructed, how it is to be used and how it works. When project is being constructed, general safety and workmanship should be considered.