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With Small Engines youth learn basic small engine knowledge:  engine parts, tools of the trade, safety issues and what makes small engines work. They explore the uses of small engines and safety issues. Youth who love figuring out how things work will enjoy the 4-H small engines projects. They will get hands-on experiences that will help them understand how machines, such as lawn mowers and model airplanes, operate and how to keep them running.

Project Levels

SMALL ENGINES 1

In level 1, identify parts of an engine, identify different oil grades, experiment on engine systems, and learn to safely start a small engine.

SMALL ENGINES 2

In level 2, distinguish between engine types, use engine specialty tools, make carburetor adjustments, and prepare a lawn mower for storage.

SMALL ENGINES 3

In level 3, learn to identify engine problems by sound; take engines apart and reassemble; remove, sharpen, and replace a mower blade; and research a career related to small engines.

Resources to help you learn

  • Small Engines: Crank It Up 
  • Small Engines 2: Warm It Up 
  • Small Engines 3: Tune It Up

State Fair Exhibit Rules

Each county may submit 1 entry total for 50294; and 1 entry for 50297.

Small Engine displays must be no larger than 4’ x 4’ display board. Exhibits must be portable. No complete engines, lawn tractors, tillers, chainsaws, etc. are permitted for display. No electrical power is available for displays/exhibits.

Small Engines 1 (SF 50294)

Exhibit a display, selecting one of the following items:

  • Ignition System: Identify the parts of the Ignition System and explain how magnetic energy is produced through the ignition system to ignite the spark plug; OR
  • Compression System: Explain how heat energy is produced by an engine and converted into mechanical energy; OR
  • Heat Transfer: Explain how heat is transferred through the cooling and lubrication system of an air cooled or water cooled engine; OR
  • Filter Maintenance: Explain the proper maintenance and cleaning of the air, fuel and oil filters of an engine; OR
  • What does a serial number reveal?: Explain the various information that can be learned from the serial number or identification number stamped on the shroud of a Briggs & Stratton engine; OR
  • Tools to do the job: Identify and explain the function(s) of different specialty tools needed for small engine work; OR
  • Experimentation: Explain through illustration an experiment you conducted from the project manual showing the results of your work.

Small Engines 2 (SF 50294)

Exhibit a display, selecting one of the following items:

  • Ignition System: Identify the parts of the Ignition System and explain how magnetic energy is produced through the ignition system to ignite the spark plug; OR
  • Compression System: Explain how heat energy is produced by an engine and converted into mechanical energy; OR
  • Heat Transfer: Explain how heat is transferred through the cooling and lubrication system of an air cooled or water cooled engine; OR
  • Filter Maintenance: Explain the proper maintenance and cleaning of the air, fuel and oil filters of an engine; OR
  • What does a serial number reveal?: Explain the various information that can be learned from the serial number or identification number stamped on the shroud of a Briggs & Stratton engine; OR
  • Tools to do the job: Identify and explain the function(s) of different specialty tools needed for small engine work; OR
  • Experimentation: Explain through illustration an experiment you conducted from the project manual showing the results of your work.

Small Engines 3 (SF 50294)

Exhibit a display, selecting one of the following items:

  • Ignition System: Identify the parts of the Ignition System and explain how magnetic energy is produced through the ignition system to ignite the spark plug; OR
  • Compression System: Explain how heat energy is produced by an engine and converted into mechanical energy; OR
  • Heat Transfer: Explain how heat is transferred through the cooling and lubrication system of an air cooled or water cooled engine; OR
  • Filter Maintenance: Explain the proper maintenance and cleaning of the air, fuel and oil filters of an engine; OR
  • What does a serial number reveal?: Explain the various information that can be learned from the serial number or identification number stamped on the shroud of a Briggs & Stratton engine; OR
  • Tools to do the job: Identify and explain the function(s) of different specialty tools needed for small engine work; OR
  • Experimentation: Explain through illustration an experiment you conducted from the project manual showing the results of your work.

Small Engines Ready4Life Challenge (SF 50297)

Open to 11- to 18-year-olds enrolled in any Small Engines 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.

Small Engines 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.