4-HSt. Fair Insect Collections

Working on a 4-H Entomology project is the best way to learn about insects in Kentucky. Use the guides and documents below to start building an insect collection today! 

St. Fair Insect Collection Guide: contains the information needed to assemble an insect collection for competition at the County and St. Fair level. Includes: where to look for insects, how to pin and label insects, and tips for displaying collections. This document compiles and supplements the insect collection guidelines that previously appeared in 4-H Entomology Project: Unit 1 (Pub. 4DC-01PA) and 4-H Entomology Project: Unit 2 (Pub. 4DC-02PA).

Kentucky 4-H Insect Order Key: use this guide to identify insects to the correct scientific order. This document is adapted from and replaces A Key to Insect Orders (Pub. 4DC-04SO).

4-H Label Cards: download both of these PDF format cards and print them onto card stock to make official St. Fair labels for insect collections.
Card 1  |  Card 2 

Identification: visit the Kentucky Critter Files for pictures and information about many of the insects that you might find while collecting for your 4-H insect collection. 


For 4-H Agents, Program Assistants, and Volunteer Leaders

Official St. Fair Rule Sheet: download and review the official 4-H insect collection rule sheet that is used in the St. Fair Catalog. This is for Lot 6026, Classes 687-691, 1st-5th year insect collections.

Official St. Fair Score Sheets: download and review the score sheets that we use to judge 4-H insect collections at St. Fair. These can help you to judge county collections and work with youth who want to improve their collections.

Supplies for 4-H Insect Collections: we sell (at cost) pins and boxes that may be used for 4-H insect collections. Pins are $2 (box of 100), insect boxes are $5. A single insect box can hold approximately 25-40 insects.

To order pins and boxes, contact: 
Darlene Thorpe 
S-225 Ag. Science North 
Lexington, KY 40546-0091 
(859) 257-5955

4-H Entomology Curriculum Guide: This guide was developed in 2004 as a part of the new Kentucky 4-H Natural Resource Curriculum. It aligns popular activities from well-known activity books (like Project WET, Project Learning Tree, and the 4H CCS entomology unit books) with KERA core content. The topic: "How Does The Environment in Kentucky Affect The Insects (and Related Arthropods) That Live There?"

4-H.org National Publications: Teaming With Insects

  • Teaming with Insects: Facilitator's Guide
  • Teaming with Insects: Level 1 (Grades 3-5)
  • Teaming with Insects: Level 2 (Grades 6-8)
  • Teaming with Insects: Level 3 (Grades 9-12)

These project books were designed by entomologists, educators, and 4-H specialists from around the U.S., and provide a good introduction to insects and their relatives for young people in grades 3-12. Contact the State 4-H office to order these publications. Read more about these publications at: 4-H.org: Teaming With Insects

Kentucky 4-H Entomology Unit Books: While these "classic" Kentucky 4-H Entomology Project books and leader's guide (Pubs. 4DC-01PA, 4DC-02PA, 4DC-03PA, and 4DC-#1LA) are no longer in print, they remain a valuable source for ideas and supplemental information. Contact us for photocopies of these books, or visit the online versions (in PDF format) and make as many copies as you need for your county programs:

4-H Entomology Leader Training: If your county office wants to learn more about 4-H Entomology, contact us for training opportunities. We can come to your county and work with agents and assisstants one-on-one or in small groups to develop essential entomology skills, such as: finding and collecting insects, insect identification, and making a St. Fair entomology project. A great first-step is to have an example St. Fair collection for your office, and we can help you create one. We can also help you develop entomology curricula and activities. 


Blake Newton, 4-H Entomology Specialist 
859.257.7453 | blaken@uky.edu 
Department of Entomology 
S-225 Agricultural Science Center North 
University of Kentucky 
Lexington, KY USA 40546-0091