Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Tips from a Heritage Fair Alumnus

By: Jolie Leung, Heritage Fair 2013 Alumnus

The air in schools is beginning to hum alive as students bring their Heritage Fair projects to life! Each year we see mixes of tri-fold posters, suitcases, costumes, and models, among others. But not every project starts out looking as amazing as the ones we see at Regional Fair—so what can you do to improve yours?

During your research, try to get to the library often and you’ll find that book resources are much more reliable than what you can read on Wikipedia and other websites. Scholarly articles are also useful: try searching on Google Scholar, which works just like Google but only shows scholarly articles. For websites, make sure you cross-check your references—that means checking between various sites to make sure the information is the same and accurate. And of course, make sure you cite these resources in your bibliography!

When making your display board, try to aim for an eye-catching colour scheme that is appropriate to your project, but make sure to avoid overloading your audience with rainbows or overpowering your text with a noisy background! Keep in mind that for more solemn events in history you may want to stick to a darker colour palette. For other project types, experiment with your placement of objects—sometimes you’ll be surprised by what looks good!

Last of all, when presenting to a judge, be confident in what you’re saying! It’s all too easy to second-guess yourself, but remember all of the research that you did. Practice saying some of your content out loud, or if your project has a timeline, such as a war, familiarize yourself with how one event in time led to another. Be sure to speak at a good, slightly loud volume to ensure that the judge can hear you, but not so loud as to disturb other students and judges’ conversations.

If you still feel like your project isn’t as good as it could be, don’t worry! You still have time to improve it, and besides, many schools take part in Heritage Fair every year, so you likely will have another chance to try again next year armed with new experience!

Good luck doing your projects, and most importantly, have fun!

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