BC Heritage Fairs Alumni

The Official Heritage Fairs Student Site

Tricks of the Trade — February 28, 2014

Tricks of the Trade

Hello world of future historians! My name is Paterson How and I am currently an Alumni
of the BC Heritage Fair program. Today I decided to talk to you a bit about a couple of
tricks of the trade I picked up during my 4 years of making heritage fair projects. These
tips focus on the presentation aspect of Heritage Fair as from what I remember most of
you will currently be making boards and working on oral presentations.

To begin one of the greatest things to start with when making a board is a good layout,
when doing this the main thing to remember is to effectively use your space. Sometimes
I have seen a few projects (including one or two of my own) where some 3d model or a
title blocks some important information or an area of the board that you might be using
as a reference. Next, when presenting, make sure your oral presentation flows well.
What I mean by this is that it’s usually best to the story of either how you created your
project or the history of your event to each of your products instead of just naming each
individual product and then calling your presentation complete.

My biggest final tip is: be creative! Sometimes a little innovativeness in a project can
go a loooong way. Now there are lots of ways to make a more creative project. For
example, I have seen timelines that spin, a screen put in the very centre of the board
(as in off the ground) to show a video, a board painted to become a mosaic, a model
where you move a boat to see how land affects its travels and many, many more ideas
that don’t just make for a good project, but also make you feel proud of yourself and
of your project. They also can create the best memories of your projects and there
something that if you save one day you can look back on and say “wow, I made that
when I was in grade 4/5/6/7.”

So thank you for reading these tips and I hope they help you both this year and in the
years to come.

Author: Paterson

WE LIVE HISTORY — February 20, 2014


Click. Flash. The camera snaps, the headline in the papers blare, history is in the making. We live history every day. We breathe it in the morning air and see it on the news. That which once seemed trivial is now a leading story, and we watched it build. From the Middle East, to the Olympics, the environment and everything in between; we see our world hurtle towards a different and hopefully better place. It is engaging and exciting, the intrigue of events all around us.

The smell of chalk, lines of lockers, and the drown of a teacher’s voice. You’re in high school, and your social studies teacher is explaining something. Dates and names whirl in the air as the class slumbers through another lecture form the dusty pages of a textbook written to educate, not necessarily engage.

What happened? Where along the line did the spark that is current events slump into the doldrum that history too often becomes? Flipping through the pages of my textbook I found the answer. History can be: “In 1939 Britain declared war on Germany this triggered a great change for the populous of both countries…” Let’s roll that back, imagine the moment; the people sitting at their radios listening as their fate was decided. The whole world was altering, the young boys who knew they would be leaving, the families not sure what tomorrow would bring.

Somehow we have lost the people somewhere between the dates and the major event’s ‘key ideas.’ The study of history should be first and foremost a study of people.  What happened to them, how did the lives of the average person change?

It smells of tea and biscuits as my Grandmother explains life in the Depression. She talks about the horses hitched to cars and the men riding the rails. We flip through old photos of her life, the grainy black and white images that speak a thousand words.  I listen enthralled as she puts faces to event I thought I had understood. Through her, I could live what she had seen and done. It brought the past into our modern living room, brushing the television aside in favour of portal to the world she had known as a child.

This is what history is, or what is should be. It doesn’t have to come from a textbook or be written down in any encyclopedia. The stories of your family, the moments on the news, events you witnessed and will someday tell your grand children about. This is history; it is a story of us, of humanity. It tells of our failings and triumphs. Next time you come across a piece of history look past the lines of text and dates, find the people. Their story is what count. Who knows, you might find your own answers in their struggles. A kindred spirit from the past.

Author: Rachel