University of Maryland Extension


4-H Welding

Maryland 4-H has a long history of offering in-depth and hands-on experiences involving Engineering. This includes our Engineering Challenges at State Fair, as well as Engineering Camp every Spring. More information about these 4-H Engineering opportunities, including helpful resources and event information, follow.  

For more specific information about Maryland 4-H Engineering programs, contact Dwayne Murphy, 4-H Engineering Superintendent, at, or Mark DeMorra, 4-H STEM Specialist, at

Engineering Camp:

One of the greatest weekends in the Spring is the 4-H Engineering Camp! Located at the Harford County 4-H Campgrounds (The Rocks), its purpose is to introduce some of the numerous Engineering projects available through 4-H and to provide hands-on experiences to prepare youth for some of the county, regional, and state contests. In addition to in-depth exploration of Engineering projects, there will be fun challenges that will test youth's ability to use the Engineering Design Process to solve problems and achieve goals. Topics that have been featured include: large tractor operation, welding, aerospace, computers, environmental engineering, GPS/GIS mapping, and underwater robotics. 

Location: The Rocks 4-H Camp, Street, MD
Date: TBD

4-H Bike Challenge

4-H Engineering Challenges at the Maryland State Fair

Bicycle Safety: The State Fair "Bicycle Safety Challenge" tests youth's ability to operate, fix, and ride bicycles safely and effectively. The contest consists of a written test, Parts ID, and skills demonstrations by youth on to drive in a straight line, figure 8, on a city street, with double obstacles, and with double zig-zag obstacles. Resources youth can consult in preparation for the Bicycle Safety Challenge follow:

Purdue University Bicycle Safety Challenge:

Bicycle Universe-Bike Laws in MD: 

Bike Law Blog-MD Bike Laws:

Electricity/Energy: The State Fair "Electricity/Energy" Challenge features a written test, parts ID, and visual presentation that will be used to evaluate youth's knowledge of the physical theories behind Electricity and Energy and how to implement such safely and effectively into real-world projects. Resources youth can consult in preparation for the Electricity/Energy Challenge follow:

Purdue University Electricity/Energy Challenge:  

Small Engine: The "Small Engine" Challenge at the Maryland State Fair evaluates youth knowledge of the safe operation and maintenance of small engines, present in many common devices such as lawn mowers, generators, tillers, and more. This is done through a written exam, parts ID, and a visual presentation given by youth. Resources youth can consult in preparation for the Small Engine Challenge follow:

Purdue University Small Engine Challenge:

John Deere Manuals & Training Resources:

Lawn Tractor (Learn to Earn): The "Lawn Tractor" event at State Fair is designed to offer 4-H youth an opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in the areas of lawn care, business management, tractor operation, maintenance, and safety. The day of the challenge at state fair features a written exam, parts ID, safe operation course, and a tractor driving course.  Resources youth can consult in preparation for the Lawn Tractor (Learn to Earn) Challenge follow:

Purdue University Lawn Tractor Challenge:

John Deere Manuals & Training Resources:

Tractor Operator's Contest (4-H & FFA):  The “Large Tractor” event at State Fair is a joint challenge that both Maryland FFA and Senior-aged 4-H youth can participate in. It is meant to test their skills with operating agricultural tractors safely and effectively, including proper maintenance and care. The challenge consists of a written exam, practical exam, and 4 driving exams:

  • 2-Wheel Drive Safety
  • 2-Wheel Drive Operation Course
  • 4-Wheel Drive Safety
  • 4-Wheel Drive Operation Course

Competitors will be ranked both overall and via their specific program (4-H or FFA). Resources youth can consult in preparation for the Tractor Operator’s Contest follow:

Purdue University Tractor Operator's Safety Challenge:

Purdue 4-H Tractor Curriculum:

John Deere Manuals & Training Resources:

 4-H Large Tractor


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