Fourth grade students combined their artistic know-how with historical and architectural design as they put their best model forward for San Gabriel Mission’s ninth annual Mission Model Exhibit and Contest.Entrants arrived at the San Gabriel Mission on May 11 to display their models and check out designs of others. Nativity School of South El Monte had the most participants, and took three of the top individual honors: Citlali Molina, overall champion; Annalia Alonzo, first place; and Monica Hernandez, third place. Second place honors went to Kaitlyn Lozano of Emma W. Shuey Elementary School, Rosemead.Some schools allow foam models kits that are precut to be used for the student project and some schools don't allow it. "In past years there have been some pretty imaginative models either using precut foam or cardboard or cake or candy,” said Chuck Lyons of the San Gabriel Mission. "We have seen entries that included battery lights for inside the church, and two models made of Legos with one that even had a way to lift up the roof."One model — built completely from recycled material by a student at San Gabriel Mission Elementary School, which this year celebrates its 100th anniversary — won a Directors Award for Creative Use of Materials in Making the Model. Some teachers are getting away from students building mission models because they say the parents help the students too much, but Lyons encourages parental involvement. "It's a great idea if the family gets involved in a student's project and helps them," said Lyons. "Sometimes parents don't know the answers to homework, and yet what seems like a difficult project making a mission model can become a fun family project of which all its participants can be proud." Co-sponsored by Ramona Museum of California History in San Gabriel, the contest judges were from Ramona Museum and Gabrieleno Tongva San Gabriel Band of Mission Indians. {gallery width=100 height=100}gallery/2013/0524/sgmodel/{/gallery}