Geology involves studying the earth's crust, its layers, and their history. Youth learn to identify Indiana rocks, minerals, and fossils. 

State Fair Entries

3 per county; one per level

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Manual Information: See page 16 for project manual information. Project Manual completion is not a requirement.

References: All posters, notebooks, and display boards must include a reference list indicating where information was obtained, giving credit to the original author, to complete the 4-H member’s exhibit. See References under General Exhibit Information on page 17 for additional guidelines.

Contact Us

Lauren Fenneman, Youth Development Educator
Purdue Extension Dubois County
505 W 5th Street 
P.O. Box 588
Jasper, IN 47547


 Specimens may also be displayed in a 24”x 18”x 3” collection box, displayed horizontally.

 You may purchase your specimens and may display rocks, fossils, and minerals. If you purchase a specimen, indicate when and where you purchased it and the location where you would expect to find the specimen. If you collect a specimen, indicate the county and township where you found it.

 Posters and display boxes will be exhibited "standing up" at the Indiana State Fair. Therefore, you need to mount your specimens securely. Subject matter experts suggest the following methods: soaking ½ cotton ball in Elmer's glue, hot glue, or clear tub sealant. Place the cotton ball in your box and put your rock (or fossil or mineral) on the cotton ball and let sit. It will take 1-2 weeks for Elmer's glue to fully harden. Specimens mounted with Elmer's glue can be removed by soaking the cotton ball in water. Glue remaining on the rock may be brushed off with an old, damp toothbrush.


 When exhibiting rocks show a fresh surface (recently cracked or broken surface) to help judges identify the rock.


Labels - Include the specific geographical location where you would expect to find any specimens as well as where you actually acquired it (found, purchased, etc.).


 Do not identify your specimens any further than phylum and class. There is one exception to this for fossils which are identified to phylum OR class. Class should only be used for fossils of mollusks, backboned animals, and arthropods.


Judges evaluating exhibits should recognize individual differences and creativity, therefore using information in this document as a guide rather than a requirement.

Create an educational poster, notebook or display about any manual activity or on any geology topic of choice that is age/grade appropriate.

Create an educational poster, notebook or display about any manual activity or on any geology topic of choice that is age/grade appropriate, or collection of 8-16 minerals and/or fossils.

Create an educational poster, notebook or display about any manual activity or on any geology topic of choice that is age/grade appropriate, or collection of 15-25 minerals and/or fossils and/or jewel stones. Youth can also design and complete an independent study activity.

Poster Guidelines

All poster exhibits must be 22" x 28", displayed horizontally, and have a stiff backing (corrugated cardboard or foam core board preferred) and be covered with clear cellophane, plastic or in poster bag unless otherwise stated in project requirements. Quiz Boards are not considered posters and do not require a clear covering. Leave space in the lower right hand corner of poster for project label affixed outside of covering. (Poster board, foam core board, and poster bags are available at the Extension Office at cost.) 

Leave space on exhibit for label. Label size is 2 7/8” wide x 5 ½” long and will be attached in readily visible position.

References:  All posters, notebooks, display boards must include a reference list indicating where information was obtained, giving credit to the original author, to complete the 4-H member’s exhibit.  This reference list should/might include web site links, people and professionals interviewed, books, magazines, etc.  It is recommended this reference list be attached to the back of a poster or display board, be the last page of a notebook, or included as part of the display visible to the public.  The judge will not discredit an exhibit for the manner in which references are listed.


All pictures and wall hangings, etc. should be ready to hang or display. Use strong hangers (not can tabs) attached with nails or screws (not glue or tape) or provide a suitable stand. Label the stand with your name.


Exhibit labels supplied by the office are to be attached securely. There may be specific other instructions for certain projects. See individual project requirements for these instructions. Be sure all exhibit items can be identified with 4-H member name and 4-H club. i.e. notebooks, exhibits with multiple items, etc. Be sure all parts of your exhibit have your name on them.

Secrets of a Successful Poster
A successful poster will:
· Catch the eye of the passerby
· Be simple and clear
· Impress an idea or a fact upon the viewer
· Stimulate the viewer to support your idea, get more information, or take appropriate action.
· Have space left over—Posters that are uncluttered are easier to read.

An effective poster: attracts attention, focuses on a main interest or idea, and motivates you.

Planning A Poster
A poster should have one main idea. Have the reason clearly in mind before you start.
· Consider who your viewer will be
· Decide what you want them to know
· Decide what you want them to do
· Think of a clever theme or slogan
· Limit your effort to one main idea
· Make a small rough sketch
· Visual communication is an aid to what you are trying to teach with your project.

Choosing Colors
Color combinations affect how easily the message is read and the overall appearance of the poster.
· Consider the Contrast: This means you use dark letters on a light background, and light letters on a dark background.
· Let the most important items be the most important color.
· Colors that are close to the background shade will not show up well and cannot be read at a distance.
· Avoid using too many different colors. Two or three should be sufficient. You don’t want to overwhelm your main point!
· Avoid putting red and green next to each other—this is hard to focus on if a person is colorblind.
· Avoid bright neon colors—they may catch the eye, but they are hard to focus on.

· Lower case letters are easier to read than all CAPITALS. Use capitals only for emphasizing an important phrase or word to give variety.
· Save fancy or script lettering for catching the attention of the viewer.
· When hand lettering, always use guidelines. Using a ruler, lightly pencil in straight lines that can be erased when your poster is complete.
· Letters may be cutout and glued on, or precut letters may be purchased.
· Keep written material to a minimum. Use only headings, captions and signs necessary to tell the story.

Use different size lettering for items of varying importance.
· Allow margins to keep things from running together and looking too cluttered.
· Below is a table of letter sizes and their effectiveness:

*Ask your parents, 4-H Leader, or older 4-H member to look at your poster and tell you what they think.

1. Cut out all your letters, pictures and graphics.
2. Draw guidelines and place or draw in letters.
3. Lay all your pieces of your poster out on the poster board.
4. Ask yourself, “How does it look?”
5. Revise and rearrange as needed. Re-Do anything that should be a different size or color.
6. Move things around until you are happy with the overall effect and message of your poster.
7. Glue everything in place.