It all snaps together for the sixth annual LEGO contest

©2017 Telegraph Publishing LLC

Matthew Abare shows the inner workings of his Puzzle Safe. The fully assembled safe is above left. Photos by Shawn Cunningham

The NewsBank Conference Center was alive with the buzz of creativity and the clicking of plastic parts on Saturday, March 18 as the sixth annual LEGO Contest, sponsored by St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Chester, got under way. Forty-three extrusion engineers between pre-K and eighth grades, their families and friends, came from 17 towns in Vermont and one in New Hampshire to participate.

Individual, team and family entries were judged by grade for originality, imagination and presentation. Many of the entries were not just eye-catching, but intricate, working creations.

A seemingly “solid” LEGO box called “Puzzle Safe” — measuring 8 inches by 8 inches by 4 — had a hidden key that, when removed and inserted into small holes in the walls, moved internal pieces until, eventually, a door was opened to reveal the interior of the box.

A working LEGO pinball machine by the Reineman – Howard family of Windsor received a “Creators’ Choice” award

Other exhibits included a working pinball machine, pneumatic crane, camera with changing and revolving lenses, vehicles of all kinds, battle stations, ice skates, restaurants, pet centers, farms  and more. In addition to movable parts, some exhibits had lights powered by a battery.

Judges Chris Meyer and Doug Edson of Chester, Andrew Pennell of Rockingham, and high-school student Gurion Lake of Brookfield, Vt., spoke with participants to learn in detail the aims and special features of their designs.

Around noon, LEGO ribbons and prizes were awarded to the winner and runner-up in each category, and a medal was given to every participant.


First Place: Owls by Ephraim Gross of Cavendish


First: Shyloh’s City by Shyloh Ouellette of Peru
Second: Animal House by Parker and Brennan Nissenbaum of Ascutney

Estella Gross’ “Still Life Photography” featured a three dimensional scene with a photo image and camera made of LEGOs. It won first prize in the Fifth Grade category.

First Grade

First: Vermont Fresh Food Restaurant by Victoria Turco of Chester
Second: Megaship by Nathan Nissenbaum of Ascutney

Second Grade

First: Ice Skates by Michelle Klepp of Baltimore
Second: Jet Station by Liam Heybyrne of Chester

Third Grade

First: ATV with Treads by Cyrus Gross of Cavendish
Second: Planet Raider by Gage Winther of Putney

The sprawling Vermont Farm took first prize for the eighth grade category.

Fourth Grade

First: Puzzle Safe by Matthew Abare of Springfield
Second: Warrior Cats by Fiona Thomas of Chester

Fifth Grade

First: Still Life by Estella Gross of Cavendish
Second: Super Defense Tower by Matthew Thayer of Chester

Sixth Grade

First: Arcade by Harrison Druen of Springfield
Second: Pneumatic Crane by Carson Williams of Perkinsville

Seventh-Eighth Grade

First: Vermont Farm by Everett and Eben Mosher of Chester
Second: Isabelle’s Pet Center by Isabelle Gross of Cavendish


First: The Vermonster by the Smith Family of Londonderry
Second: Red Skull’s Palace  by the Lake Family of Brookfield

Three special awards were also given.
Most Vermont: Five Seasons in Vermont by the Doran Family of Chester
Best in Show: Lego Pinball by sixth grader Joey Gomez of Chester
Creators’ Choice:  Pinball Wizzard by the Reineman-Howard Family of Windsor
This award was voted as the show’s favorite by the contestants.

A number of the 2017 exhibits will be on display at Chester’s Whiting Library until late April. Proceeds from the contest will enable St. Luke’s to send a donation to the children’s section at Chester’s Whiting Library. For pictures from the 2017 LEGO exhibits, visit

To receive email notice next year about the 2018 contest, contact Lillian Willis at 802-875-1340 or

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Filed Under: Community and Arts Life

About the Author: This item was edited from one or more press releases submitted to The Chester Telegraph.

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