BC Heritage Fairs Alumni

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How to Pick Your Heritage Fair Topic — March 25, 2014

How to Pick Your Heritage Fair Topic

Maybe you’re new to Heritage Fair, and you are trying to pick the topic for your very first Heritage Fair project. Or, maybe you’re an expert, and have made a Heritage Fair project every year for the last three years, but now you have run out of topic ideas off the top of your head. Whatever the case, hopefully this post will help give you an idea of somewhere to start.

The first place to look is in your family history. Is there someone related to you who made an impact on Canadian history (even if it was only a minor one)? This is where first I looked when I chose the topic for my project. Ask around your family… who knows? Maybe your grandma’s relative was a prosperous gold miner? Maybe when your father was growing up he learned about an ancestor of his who mapped much of the Canadian Arctic? There are many possible family connections, you just have to look. Just remember not to pick someone/ thing only because of your connection. If it doesn’t interest you, don’t pick it.

The second place to look is in you. Do you have a passion for something, like soccer or dance? Art? Do you have an idol, who is Canadian? Maybe that’s the best route to go. Just keep in mind, that sometimes it is better to choose someone who is less well-known. The judges like to learn about new things, places and people, and sometimes they can get bored if tons of people choose the same topic. Or, if you are doing a more common topic, maybe put an unusual twist on it.

If you still can’t find the right topic for your project, try looking in Canadian history magazines, like Canada’s History Magazine (formerly called the Beaver), or Kayak Magazine. You can also look on their websites: http://www.canadashistory.ca/Magazine, and http://www.canadashistory.ca/Kids/Kayak.aspx. Your local museum, library or other online sites also are good for inspiration. Here are two more helpful links to websites:

http://www.bcheritagefairs.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/PROJECT-TOPICS-AND-IDEAS.pdf

http://www.canadashistory.ca/Kids/Heritage/Project-Tips.aspx?id=10

I really hope this post has helped you decide on a good topic for you, and that you have fun making your Heritage Fair project!

Author: Samantha

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The Prep — March 21, 2014

The Prep

There is a time in your heritage fair journey were you have all of your information done and all you have to do is make your board have that wow factor. I have been in a spot like this and sometimes it can be hard to find out what you’re going to do with your project board. There are so many ways you can decorate your board and today I am going to get your brain going with creative decor ideas.

Painting. Painting can make your board look alive. Look at your board then look at your topic, for example say my project is on Tim Hortons I could simply go to Google images and print out a bunch of pictures or I could paint the logo in the back round.

Teabag staining is by far the best way to make your board look old. You could paint half of your board and tea stain the other make the memory stay alive in history.

Like I was saying before you could simply go to Google images and print out the back ground but there is a more advanced way of doing this. You can print one page of your back ground and then take it to Staples they will blow the picture up and it will fit on you board. At the end of the day painting and tea bag staining is the best.

Hope you have lots of fun trying these out always try these out on a piece of paper before you do this on your board. HAVE FUN!!!!!!!!!

Author: Anisha

What Do the Judges Like to See? —

What Do the Judges Like to See?

Although we know that Heritage Fair is all about connecting with our peers and coming together to learn about our heritage, let’s face it. We all desperately want to make it past our school fair into Regional’s, and then hopefully to Provincials! However, with hundreds of other kids just as eager to make it as far as you, making your Heritage Fair board an award winning project can seem like a daunting task. Here are some helpful tips to win your way to the judges’ hearts!

The most important thing about Heritage Fair is to enjoy your project and to have fun learning.

Make sure the judges see how passionate you are about your subject by appearing enthused and excited about your presentation. Sure, you are probably extremely nervous, but try your best to act confident and sure about what you are saying.

Try to make your project original and stand out from the rest.

This seems like a given, but I can’t get across how important it is! Make an effort to pick a topic that hasn’t been done, or if you picked a subject that has been done many times, try looking at it from a different point of view. For example, if you wanted to do something about Terry Fox, instead of researching his life, you could research the history of cancer in Canada.

Besides making your topic stand out, you can make your board unique as well. For my Heritage Fair project last year, I attached extra flaps to the inside of my board so that I had an extra layer of information. That way, I was able to draw a huge map that covered the entire outside of my board and still have room for loads of information on the inside. Many judges commented that they were very impressed as it was something they hadn’t seen before.

Talk to the judges as if you were talking to your friends.

Besides making you feel much more comfortable while presenting, it can also be a lot more enjoyable and less stressful. Your presentation doesn’t have to be a one sided speech, so don’t be afraid to strike up conversation with your marker. Ask them if they’ve had any personal experience with your topic, or if there’s anything in specific they would like to learn about your project. Who knows? They could happen to be an expert in your topic’s area and you could end up learning a little from them! When I did my presentations, many judges were eager to talk with me about how my topic had affected their lives, and some even gave me suggestions on books and movies related to my topic that they had personally seen.

Connect your historical event to the present.

Judges absolutely love when students are able to show the historical significance of their topic; in fact, it’s a question many judges will ask you if you don’t already cover it during your presentation. Make sure that before your presentation, you really know exactly how your topic has affected Canadian history, or maybe talk about what it would be like if your event or person had suddenly disappeared from history. Would we be better off? Or maybe worse off? Make sure you show that you really know the importance of your topic and why it deserved to be the focus of your Heritage Fair project.

All in all, make sure you are always having fun during your presentations. Try to forget that you are being marked, and just pretend you are telling your best friend about something you’re really interested in. You’ll be able to have much more fun and overall will appeal to the judges lot more than someone who looks nervous or doesn’t appear to be enjoying presenting their topic.

What do you guys think the judges look for most in their presentation? Comment below!

Author: Emily

Heritage How-to: Presentations! — March 15, 2014

Heritage How-to: Presentations!

Hi guys! I was thinking of ways to help out students like you with your heritage fair projects. I know the fair date is nerve-wracking, as I have been through it myself. So I’m giving tips on an area of heritage fair projects that I struggled most with – presenting! Here is a top 5 list of things to keep in mind; you can use this for both interviews with judges and presentations to the public!

5. Know your information:

It is very important to present accurate information, so read through your poster board and try to summarize key ideas.

4. Prepare for questions unrelated to history:

Many students and friends of mine go crazy studying their topic in depth. That’s not bad, but what if interviewers ask you questions about yourself? Ask yourself, “what have I learned about my own work habits from this project?” “What can I do differently next time?” Etc.

3. Use your own words:

Summarize and rewrite your conclusions in a way that would sound casual if said out loud. Something that’s straight out of a textbook may be harder for us to understand.

2. Don’t hesitate to say, “I’m not sure”:

Sometimes, judges or viewers may ask you a question that you are unsure of. Try not to make something up, or say something that sounds right. It is best to be honest.

1. Be passionate about your topic and SMILE:

Always try to relate your topic to personal connections and experiences you’ve had. That way, we will know for sure that you love history. It also never hurts to smile… right? 🙂

Thanks for reading guys, I really hope this helps get most of the jitters out of your system before your interviews. That being said, what else makes you nervous before the big fair day? Please share with us in the comments!

Author: Monica

Budgeting for Busy Schedules — March 14, 2014

Budgeting for Busy Schedules

Heritage Fair can be an exciting but stressful time for parents and students alike. The finalizing of topics, the hours of research, the collection of materials, among the countless other tasks, can put pressure on everyone. No matter what age one reaches, deadlines are a scary occurrence. Now, I’m sure everyone has had that famous “Get it done, do not leave it to the last minute” speech, but as time has proven, it is one of the most valuable pieces of advice. It applies not just to Heritage Fair, but to every aspect of life.For the moment, let’s not worry about every aspect of life.

Back to Heritage Fair; that exciting time of year that seems to pass so fleetingly. There is always so much going on, and it seems as if there is never enough time to get it done. Speaking from personal experience, timetables are a presenter’s best friend. The one thing to remember is to be reasonable in your expectations of yourself. While we would all like to think that we can do an entire project in a matter of days, the truth is that it will not turn out as well as if you had taken your time. You are the one putting your time, energy, and resources into creating a project, and you owe it to yourself to create the best project you can.

When creating a timetable, allow for moderate fluctuation, but also be rigid in your goals. Write down important events: what your topic is, when your drafts should be done, when to assemble the board, when to finish the model. After, look at how much time you have until your presentation is due, and then allot time accordingly. For example, your model is going to require more time to create than it will to write your name on the board. It may seem like a huge hassle in the beginning, but at the end you will realize how helpful it was.

Lastly, remember to have fun. Fun is the whole reason you became involved in Heritage Fairs. Work hard, learn, and have fun! See you at the Fair!

Author: Shayne O