Bork sisters working exhibit

Lauren and Natalie Bork teach visitors how to decorate cupcakes at their working exhibit, which was chosen for the Iowa State Fair.

OSAGE – Sisters Lauren and Natalie Bork have worked together on 4-H Working Exhibits for the past three years, combining their skills and talents to create fun, informative and working exhibits.

At the 2019 Mitchell County Fair, the pair decided to tackle cupcake decorating

With their cupcakes ready, along with piping bags filled with different colored icing, fitted with different tips, the Bork sisters provided decorators the opportunity to make lines, dots and even spirals on their cupcakes.

“We’d never done food in the past,” said Natalie, who will be starting eight grade at St. Ansgar Middle School in the fall. “We were looking for ideas and we both like to bake, so we decided to give it a try.”

In years past, the sisters have done a working exhibit on how to make bookmarks and one creating “seek and find bottles” using rice.

A working exhibit is not only judged on how clear and concise an exhibitor’s instructions are, but in the case of food, they are also judged on making certain the right food handling protocols are being utilized. In addition, they are judged on how they interact with those who stop by and try their exhibit, how well they are able to draw people’s attention to their project and how user friendly it is for a variety of ages.

“We really learn to interact,” Lauren said. “We love getting to talk to the kids. It teaches them, but it teaches us too. It makes us practice our communication skills. Having done this makes us a lot more comfortable standing up presenting school projects or even speaking in front of people we know, so we’re not nervous.”

Prior to bringing their exhibit to fair, the sisters tested how the project would work as well as what problems or obstacles they might encounter along the way. They discovered the piping bags broke pretty easily and the tips could come off if squeezed too hard. They were pleased those were the only small hiccups they ran into and they were able to process with their project.

“Doing working exhibits helps us get to know people,” Lauren said. “It teaches us how to interact with the kids without just doing it for them. We learn how to give verbal instructions to the older ones so they can have the satisfaction of doing it themselves. We kind of like the food idea now. We would definitely do it again.”

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