01 / Overview

Welcome to the 3rd Annual
Town History in 3D Competition

Hidden within the small valleys of Vermont are historical treasures - beautiful buildings with a past as rich as their architecture. Using the 3D modeling software Sketchup and 3D printing technology, the Town History in 3D Competition brings Vermont historical buildings and their amazing past to life.

High School and middle school students from around the state are challenged to work in teams to research and recreate 3D models of historical buildings in their area. In the process they uncover and document the history of buildings and create a multimedia presentation to accompany their printed 3D models.

All completed models and their accompanying multimedia presentations are entered into a now annual statewide spring invitational showcase where they are judged for their technical mastery, architectural accuracy and historical research and presentation.

Competition Overview

Each participating school must organize a team of 2 to 10 students and a faculty advisor. The faculty member will coach each team and serve as a point of contact with the competition organizers. Each team must also pick a team student captain. This individual will be included in communications to the team and advisor.

A free course in Sketchup training will be made available to all faculty coaches by Town History in 3D founder Mike Hathorn. Mike, a history and 3D printing teacher at Hartford High School and the originator of 3D Vermont, will conduct 3D training seminars at Hartford High School and via Google Hangout for faculty participating remotely. Mike is also leading a group of trainers that will assist with regional training opportunities.

As part of the process and to help ensure that contest entrants remain on track, contest organizers will present challenges throughout the competition that will serve as benchmarks in the research, design, and generation of 3D reproductions and accompanying multimedia presentations.

Teams are encouraged to research, reproduce and document more than one building in their town.

During the course of the challenge, with help from their coaches, students will achieve the following learning outcomes:

  1. Get to know their communities and community histories through directed research.
  2. Learn to use Sketchup to create geo located 3D models.
  3. Create a multimedia presentation on the building to accompany the 3D model.
  4. Present their ideas to peers, experts in the field, and community members.
Click here to register
Our Partners









02 /Event Details

The Competition's
Culminating Event

March 24, 2017, Judd Hall at Vermont Tech College, in Randolph VT. The High School and Middle School Olympiad of Architectural History in Vermont, , is the official title of the competition. All schools involved are expected to send their teams to the event, at which they will place their buildings on a giant map of Vermont at its corresponding geographic location. Each team will have their models equipped with a QR code linking to the multimedia presentation they have developed.

A panel of judges will review the models using a rubric focused on historical research, model quality, and authenticity as it relates to the real building as well as the depth of the associated multimedia presentation. Teams will receive feedback from judges offering guidance around what worked well and where improvement can be made.

03 / Awards

Win Prizes
For Your School

First Place


Second Place


Top middle school


04 / Rules & Timeline

Contest Rules And Timeline

  1. Each team will consist of 2 to 10 Vermont high school or middle school students and one faculty advisor. Each team MUST pick a student Team Captain.
  2. Ideally, one team per high school or middle school - in the case of multiple teams, it is recommended to hold a local competition first, and send the winner of that competition to the Randolph event. (In some cases we can accommodate two per school, but please contact the organizers).
  3. Each team will create 3D printed models of historical buildings in their district. There are no limits on how many models can be submitted. Scale can vary.
  4. Each team will put together a multimedia presentation to accompany the 3D model. The presentation can include the use of audio and written narrative, photographs, drawings, animation and video. It must address the following:
    • The origins of the building including key dates
    • Discussion of its architectural style and details
    • Highlights of the buildings' evolution over time
    • Description of its current use

  5. Each team will be judged on the following criteria:
    • Architectural accuracy of the 3D printed model.
    • Level of detail included in the 3D printed model.
    • Historical accuracy of the multimedia presentation.
    • Depth of research. More specific detail equals a higher score.
    • Originality and creativity of the multimedia presentation (ie. students may not just reprint a Wikipedia entry).
Click here for Contest Parameters


  • Registration opens on October 21 and closes
    January 13, 2017.
  • Teacher-training sessions begin early December 2016
  • Project milestones:
    January 15, 2017: Building choosen
    February 15, 2017: Initial SketchUP drawing underway
    March 12, 2017: Presentation on history underway
  • Architectural Olympiad March 24, 2017
    Judd Hall at Vermont Tech College in Randolph VT
  • Contest Parameters and Logistics for 3/24/2017

05 / Updates


Check back here for news and information

October 2016:

Categories to be added:

The committee is looking to adding categories specific to certain types of structures.  Proposed this year:

  • Transportation—including bridges and other transportation related buildings—RR Depots, bus stations, etc.
  • Historic Past that is Gone By—including buildings that have been taken from us.  Based on found blueprints or some other accurate local knowledge. 
The committee is still developing this list and seeks input from school teams. 



March 2015

1st Prize: Windsor High School
  American Prescision Museum Building

2nd Prize: Saint Johnsbury Academy
  Bramdt Hall, a dormitory on the Academy campus

Middle School Prize: Essex Middle School
  the town center of Williston VT


March 2016

1st Prize: Windsor High School (again!!)
  Windsor Prison—(now a retirement home)

2nd Prize: Enosburg High School
  Spavin Cure Building

Middle School Prize: Castleton Elementary School
  The Medical College (a building on the Castleton College campus)

Special thanks to all participants and teachers for a wonderful event!