CHESTER, Vt. – The NewsBank Conference Center in Chester Saturday, March 16 was filled with young engineers who created some fabulous entries for the eighth LEGO Contest, sponsored by St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. Forty-two exhibitors in grades Pre-K through eighth came from 16 towns in Vermont and one in New Hampshire. All attendees enjoyed drinks provided by Lisai’s Market in Chester and donuts, partially donated by Allen Brothers in Westminster, in the spacious Conference Center that NewsBank once again made available for the annual event.
Participants shared ideas and techniques for the constructions as they viewed the entries whose themes ranged from scenes in books, Dino Park, forts, a sawmill, LEGO knight, and a Fly-In Movie Theater to treehouses, skating rinks, a ski lodge, and maple sugaring operations in Vermont and outer space.
Individual, team, and family entries were judged by grade for originality, imagination, and presentation. What met the eye was not always the whole of the exhibit. That’s why the judges always interview each entrant to discover his or her motivation, intent, challenges, and special – often hidden – features of the design. Judges David Carey and Doug Edson of Chester; Andrew Pennell of Rockingham; and Putney School freshman James Townsend of Springfield, Vt., then wrote personal comments on each exhibit card to let the contestants know what was most appealing or impressive to them and to emphasize the fact that the judges appreciated all the time, imagination, and skill involved in each entry.
Around 11:30 a.m., LEGO prizes were awarded to the winner and runner-up in each category, and a medal was given to every participant.
First place and second place winners in each category:
Pre-K: “Sea Paw Patrol” by Alexander Taylor of Chester; “Jail-scape” by Caleb Bennett of Chester
Kindergarten: “Lego City Barn” by Clara Bennett of Chester
First grade: “Fly-In Movie Theater” by Parker Nissenbaum of Perkinsville; “Sugaring in Vermont” by Ephraim Gross of Peru
Second grade: “Ice Palace” by Sydney Heybyrne of Chester; “Ultimate Vehicles” by Quinci Kennedy of Chester
Third grade: “Friends’ Treehouse” by Laura Bennett of Chester; “Bryce’s Book Scenes” by Bryce Taylor of Stratton Mountain
Fourth grade: “Miracle on Ice – ’84 Ice Rink” by Michelle Klepp of Baltimore; “Alien Research Base” by Isaac Lake of Brookfield
Fifth grade: “Vermont Restaurant” by Niah Doran of Westminster; “Jungle Oasis” by Anna Bennett of Chester
Sixth grade: “A Knight in Shining Lego” by Colton Gaudette of Springfield
Seventh grade: “50 Cents” by Estella Gross of Peru; “Space Maple Sugaring Plant” by Carson Jaacks of Brownsville
Eighth grade: “Pinball Island” by Joe Gomez of Springfield; “Gabe’s Vehicle Shop” by Gabriel Trivino of Springfield
Family: “The Lego Tower” (bookcase) by Gross Family of Peru; “Von Studin Family Lodge” by the Von Studin Family of Chester
Four special awards were also given.
First to Enter: Eighth grader Joe Gomez of Springfield
Most Vermont: “Cyrus’s Law Mill” by fifth grader Cyrus Gross of Peru
Creators’ Choice, voted best by the contestants themselves, and Best in Show, awarded by the judges, both went to “Pinball Island” by eighth grader Joe Gomez of Springfield.
“Jungle Oasis” – which won second place in the fifth grade category – by Anna Bennett will be on display at Chester’s Whiting Library until late April. The public is invited to come see one of this year’s award-winning constructions and consider what might be a good entry for the 2020 contest.
For pictures from the 2019 LEGO exhibits, visit www.stlukesepiscopalvt.org, look under Learn More, LEGO Contests, and click on the link to the Flickr album.
Proceeds from the contest will enable St. Luke’s to send a donation to the Children’s Section at Chester’s Whiting Library, which hosts a LEGO Club for youngsters and students Mondays 3-4:30 p.m. To receive email notice next year about the 2020 contest, please contact Lillian Willis at 802-875-1340 or email@example.com.