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Montana History Portal LEGO Challenge

Montana History Portal LEGO Challenge

Save the Date: November 16, 2024

2023 Montana History Portal LEGO Challenge

LEGO mine

The Montana State Library’s History Portal, in partnership with Lewis & Clark Public Library proudly presents the Montana History LEGO Challenge.


Our goal is to offer a LEGO challenge that will capture the attention and imagination of children and adults in a manner that will inspire interest in and education about Montana history, while using science, technology, art, and math skills (STEAM). We are calling LEGO builders of all ages to use Montana History Portal images as your inspiration for a cool LEGO build.


We are hosting two juried events – a build-at-home contest and a build-on-site contest. The contest and judging will be at Lewis and Clark Public Library on December 9, 2023

Build-at-Home Registration: 

Build-On-Site Session One Registration:

Build-On-Site Session Two Registration:



Use your own LEGOS and take your time to build a Montana history scene. You can do this in one of two ways:

Use an image from the Montana History Portal as inspiration for your build.  Design something similar. Add working parts and details that may not be visible in the image.

Use an image from the Montana History Portal and build the exact scene. Include as many details from the image as possible in your replica.

Please keep your builds under 3 feet square so there is enough space for all participants.


While building you will want to think about the size and scale of the items in the scene. Try different approaches to find the one that looks the best and works well for your project. Most of the images on the History Portal are in black and white, so use color to bring life to the image you choose.



Legos will be provided by the Lewis & Clark Library. Creations must be built at the library in two shifts, 11:00 am to 11:45 pm and 12:00 pm to 12:45 pm. They will be judged alongside other build-on-site creations. Images will be available for inspiration.


How you will be judged:

  4 points 3 points 2 points 1 point
Creativity Shows creative interpretation. Show’s student’s ability to think “outside the box”.

The design shows some creativity.

No evidence of original thought.
Interpretation There is great attention to detail.

With more effort, the project might have been outstanding.

The work appears to be unfinished. Project is incomplete or lacks attention to details.
Visual Impact The work has the power to “WOW” the viewer. The work has lasting impact on the viewer. The work holds the viewer’s attention. The work does not have visual impact.


Contest Process and Rules:

Participants will need to register online for the build-at-home or the build-on-site contest using the LCL event system. (see links above)

Contest participants must use a scene from Montana History to inform LEGO builds. (See sample images and links to more images below. Look for an image that strikes your fancy and then build the scene.) Contest participants should print the inspiration photo (if they have one) and bring it with submissions.

Packaged LEGO kit submissions will not be judged. Please create your own design.

Participants may not register for both of the contests; they must choose.

Bring submissions (one per contestant) to the Lewis & Clark Public library between 11 and 12:45 pm on the day of the event.

Contest participants will fill out a submission form when they arrive to display with their LEGO build.

After the entry form is completed, contest participants will have submissions photographed for our website collection.

Place builds, printed photo, and submission form in the correct room for judging.

All submissions must be in place by 12:45 pm for judging.


Age groups, prize categories, and prizes:

LEGO kits will be awarded to each winner. 


Age groups:

5–8 Years

9–12 Years

13–18 Years

19-year-olds and up


Best overall





People's Choice

Most votes in age group






Ideas for Builds:

Tractaors and other hevy machines 
Steam tractor at the Missoula County Fair
Tipis/Lodges [Women and girl at teepees].
Tent camps Camp at Bigfork
Wagons Ian Campbell-Colquhuan sitting in wagon.
Boats and Ferry Boats Gilman Ferry
Ore Cars Mining ore car and tramway
Bridges Yellowstone River Bridge
Ghost Towns Saloon Street, Taft, Montana
Trestles Scotchman's Coulee trestle
Historic Homes [Residence of Samuel T. Hauser, 720 Madison Avenue, Helena, Montana].
Mines and Mining Related Images Garnet Ghost Town
Planes Tom Ford's first plane



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