About Self-Determined 4-H Projects

Did you create or experience something that doesn't "fit" in one of the other project areas, but you want to show it off? That’s what a self-determined project is for - to create your own thing! Ideas include, but are not limited to: weeds, train/scenery scale models, miniature dollhouse, architecture, clowning, alternative energy sources, music, auto mechanics, taxidermy, travel, diorama of historical event, etc.


Contact the Marion County 4-H office:


Resources for Self-Determined Projects

  • Use the resources around you: the internet (especially a website like Pinterest), adults, friends, your 4-H club or another group you are a part of. We want you to dream and be creative!

Showcasing What You've Learned

You can create a project exhibit to showcase what you’ve learned while working on your project. Project exhibits are submitted for judging at the annual Marion County Showcase. Create an exhibit (poster, notebook, display board, or thing) that shows the public what you learned/did!

Exhibit Guidelines

  • You can enter up to two exhibits either individually and as a team/group (two or more members working together). Categories:
    • Individual Grades 3-5
    • Individual Grades 6-8
    • Individual Grades 9-12
    • Team/Group (all ages)
  • Exhibits must include a completed 4-H General Record Sheet.
  • Marion County 4-H poster exhibit guidelines and tips
  • A reference list must be included with your poster, notebook, or display board.

Score Cards

Advancing to the State Fair

  • No, self-determined projects are county-only and only eligible for exhibition at the Marion County Showcase.

Cloverbuds (Grades K-2)


  • Cloverbuds may enter one exhibit for a self-determined project. 
  • Cloverbud projects are for exhibition only (not judged), so there are no score cards, and exhibits are not eligible to advance to the State Fair.