By: Julia and Vedanshi, in collaboration with the rest of the Alumni Council
Today, your Alumni Council is coming at you with a compilation of tips for students who are in the process of starting their Heritage Fair project! First of all, congratulations on taking the first steps towards what is bound to be a phenomenal research and fulfilling presentation experience over the next few months. This rollercoaster of an adventure is sure to bring you lots of successes, but an equal amount of challenges that will require you to think critically as you delve into archival records and official documents to construct a meaningful narrative about your topic of choice. This can feel quite overwhelming, but do not fret – us Alumni have got you covered!
The first question you want to be asking yourself, as per Leona, is whether the chosen topic is right for you, because if you do not “have a personal connection” to it, you will forfeit engaging with the subject matter. Leona understands that you have some tough choices ahead, since, “picking a topic is often the most difficult part of the project.” Jaia supports Leona’s perspective, saying that, “excellent Heritage Fair projects are ones that clearly display passion from the presenter.” Selecting a project that you find interesting will also allow you to connect better with your project, finding that your research truly impacts the way that you look at your life in the present. For instance, Vedanshi shared how her appreciation for the rapid transit system in Metro Vancouver, the SkyTrain and Canada Line network implemented by TransLink, exponentially increased having researched the topic for her Heritage Fair project.
Now that you’ve chosen a topic that you are passionate about, you also need to consider the practical side of doing this research. That is, if you CAN actually do research. In other words, do some preliminary research to establish whether you will be able to access a variety of sources for your topic, both primary and secondary. Judy advises students to “pick a project that can be thoroughly researched,” sharing that when she did her project on the Oka Crisis, she, “ was able to interview a survivor from the event,” allowing for the development of “a much deeper and more personal understanding of [the] topic.” In addition, Judy reiterates that, “a good project shines a new light on a past event and shows how lessons learned from that time can be applied to issues today,” meaning that to achieve this goal, “your Heritage Fair project must be formed through detailed research and understanding, so make sure you pick a topic where information is easily accessible.”
With your topic of choice and research plan outlined, you are sure to conquer any challenge that the process of developing a Heritage Fair project throws your way! And lastly, don’t forget to be organized. Lucas says that the key to success is having, “a plan of attack”; by setting deadlines for yourself and brainstorming ahead of time – don’t leave things for the last minute, procrastination is NOT your ally! Alumni also recommend checking out the following links – did you know there are pages filled with resources and content to help you successfully start on your project? Check them out! Good luck!
Project topic ideas:
Selecting the right topic:
General project and management tips: