Saturday, January 14, 2017

2017 Block Kids Competition

Eugene Chapter #77 of the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC), The Science Factory, and the River Road Parks & Recreation District are the co-sponsors of the 2017 Block Kids Competition, which will take place this year on Saturday, February 4 at Emerald Park in Eugene. NAWIC chapters across the country perennially produce the award-winning program, supporting one of the organization’s goals, which is to make a difference in the communities of which they are a part. 
Block Kids makes a difference by introducing children in Grades 1 through 6 to the possibility of careers in the construction industry. The contest encourages them to use their imagination to create a structure with a specific set of materials. Kids who participate explore how and why a structure is built, with the mentorship of judges hailing from all corners of the construction industry. There is no fee for the participants. 
The competition comprises a 45-minute period within which the budding designers and builders must assemble a structure of their choosing, provided it relates in some way to the construction industry. The organizers provide each contestant with a set of 100 interlocking blocks, as well as any three of four additional items (a small rock, string, foil, or poster board). Local construction industry professionals judge each entry. They ask each competitor to discuss his or her project, judging each for creativity and execution. Ultimately, the judges select first, second, and third place winners in each of three grade level groups (Grades 1-2, Grades 3-4, and Grades 5-6). All participants receive a goody bag. 
The judges will choose one project (regardless of the grade levels) for advancement to the subsequent regional contest. Each region will in turn select one semi-finalist for entry into the national competition, at which 2017’s top prizes will be awarded to three projects. 
Want to be a Block Kids judge?
I had the pleasure of being a judge at one Block Kids Competition a few years back. I was amazed and delighted by what kids can create. Their effort and enthusiasm are infectious, and their resourceful and inventiveness are refreshing. If you’re a local construction industry professional and interested in being a judge, the ladies of NAWIC Chapter #77 would love to hear from you. In addition to judges, the organizers also need volunteers to help with set up and other logistics. Contact Nancy Ograin at and let her know you’d like to help in either or both capacities. 
Do you have a child who would like to be a Block Kid?
The competition is fun, educational, and a wonderful way for your child to spend a winter afternoon. Advance registration by January 28 is required for each participating child. To sign up, fill out the online form. If you have difficulty with the online form, call 541-682-7888. 
You can fax, mail or drop off the registration form at the Science Factory. If you prefer, you can also register in person at the Science Factory (map). 
What: 2017 Block Kids Competition 
When: Saturday, February 4, 2017 (set up: 11:30 AM; competition begins at 1:30 PM

Where: Emerald Park,1400 Lake Drive, Eugene OR 97404 (map
Cost: Free 
Registration Deadline: January 28, 2017 

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