February 10, 2011

An Eastern Kentucky 4-H member recently won first place at the 60th Annual National 4-H Engineering Challenge in West Lafayette, Ind.

Lincoln Stamper, a student at West Carter High School in Carter County, won the small engine competition of the event. During the competition, Stamper presented a demonstration on a small-engine topic, troubleshot an engine problem and took a written test. He is the first engineering national champion from Kentucky since 1995. Stamper’s award-winning presentation was titled, “Maintain it to Crank It.”

Jason Gibson of Pulaski County placed third in the lawn tractor event, Brady Prowl of Harrison County placed sixth in the tractor event, and Keith Miles of Hart County placed seventh in the bike event.

“It is the first time that we have had anyone place in the top three of this event since 2006 when Brady Prowl’s brother Ethan placed third in the tractor,” said Larry Piercy, UK extension specialist in biosystems and agricultural engineering. “Our last national champion was Matthew Gleitz of Meade County who won the bike event in 1995. So, this was a good year.”

The competition drew 60 contestants from 12 states competing in events including aerospace, bicycle, computer, electric, lawn tractor, robotics, small engines, tractor and welding. All the contestants won district and state competitions to qualify for the national event. Stamper also competed in last year’s national tractor driving contest, where he placed sixth.

Contestants and accompanying adults spent a day on educational field trips at Purdue University and in Indianapolis. Included were workshops in the departments of Electrical Engineering Technology, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, and Aviation Technology and guided tours of Fowler Ridge Wind Farm and Rea Magnet Wire Company.

Extension agricultural engineers and 4-H professionals from participating states conducted the event. John Deere and Company sponsored the lawn tractor and small engines contests. Lincoln Electric sponsored the welding contest. Landis and Gyr and Stuart C. Irby Company sponsored the electric contest.