School kids from across Central Okanagan brought history to life at the Okanagan Regional Heritage Fair at Laurel Packinghouse Tuesday.
Sixty-five students showcased their perspectives on history through displays they made to present to a panel of volunteer judges.
“Students get to choose any topic of history they want and the only rule they have to abide by is it has to be Canadian content,” said Kelowna Museum’s spokesperson Jen Garner.
It is really good for students because they may choose a piece of history they are interested in and it may not be in the school curriculum, so it gives them the opportunity to branch out of what they are learning in the classroom or they can choose to explore their own family history.”
The students got to present their research at their own school heritage fairs and their teachers and classmates got to choose which students would go on to present at the annual Regional Heritage Fair.
Students had to formulate a question they wanted answered and base their research and presentation on their findings. Some students wanted to learn more about their own family heritage. “My question was ‘how did my grandparents immigrating from the Ukraine affect me today’ and I chose this question because I love learning about where I came from. I learned my great grandfather travels by boat to Halifax in 1929 when he was 19,” said Okanagan student Emily Pawlyk.
Other students like Thurston Batty chose to base their research on war and tragic times in history.
“I chose bad decisions for my project because I wanted to make people aware that bad decisions happened in history and they affect us today. Some of the historic events I highlighted was the residential schools and how children were taken to a prison and head captive and also Pearl Harbour when the Japanese were blamed,” said Batty.
The students are visited by three different judges and critiqued on whether their project answered the question they chose, if they demonstrated how history still lives on in their lives today and how knowledgeable they were on their topic.
Three of the students will be selected to attend the Provincial Fair in Victoria this July.
“the winners will get to stay at the University of Victoria and visit heritage sites, while competing in the provincial fair,” said Kelowna Museum’s spokesperson Jen Garner.
Garner encourages teachers and community members to participate in the 2019 Okanagan Regional Heritage Fair by contacting the Kelowna Museum to register.