Students take Canadian heritage to national level

Okotoks: Public support needed for students to win

By: Roxanne Blackwell

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Jun 04, 2014 04:13 pm

Grade 8 students Lauren Bale, Brady Chapman, and Dominic Shoop are competing against each other for a chance to win a trip to Ottawa to meet government officials and participate in a Canadian history forum.
Grade 8 students Lauren Bale, Brady Chapman, and Dominic Shoop are competing against each other for a chance to win a trip to Ottawa to meet government officials and participate in a Canadian history forum.

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Three Heritage Heights students will be competing at a national level in a history contest that would see the winner flown to Ottawa to attend a history forum and meet with government officials.

“It’s like the American idol of history,” said 13-year-old Lauren Bale who is one of the Heritage Heights qualifiers in the Young Citizens program. “Everyone votes and then you get to move on.”

As part of the school’s heritage fair, students chose a topic that they were interested in and delved into the history of it and its Canadian historical roots. Then they created a short video presentation, which was submitted to the Calgary regional competition.

Of the 120 students who made it to the regional competition at the Mewata Armoury, six were selected to have their video compete at the national level. Their videos, along with nearly 200 others from across the country, will go online for the public to vote. Half of the score is determined by a panel of judges, while the other half is left up to the public’s decision.

Brady Chapman, 14, and Dominic Shoop, 15, were the other two students selected from Heritage Heights.

Chapman’s project was inspired by his interest in cooking, and centered on French cuisine.

“I love to cook and it has always been a passion of mine. I learned facts about Quebec and how it’s the top of the French food market,” he said. “For my video, I’m going to touch on two of Quebec’s main recipes that came over from France and I’m going to cook Tourtiere meat pie.”

Shoop’s project involved creating an actual replica of an 1800s era Flinklock pistol in his dad’s garage shop out of wood and metal.

“I thought it was so cool and it has a lot of neat back ground,” Shoop said. “You could hold three or four in your jacket so you didn’t have to load them, and it has led to the evolution of guns today.”

Bale’s video focused on the history of one of her greatest passions, figure skating.

“I really wanted to learn about the deep roots of the sport and see where it started,” she said “I really liked what I was leaning. It connected to my family because my grandma was telling me about how when she was a little girl they would strap wood on their feet to skate, and it’s cool because it was passed on between generations.”

Rob Lennard from Alberta Heritage, said the three were strong contenders in the competition.

“The big thing was their enthusiasm and passion for their chosen subjects and how they communicated their message to the judges,” he said.

Their teacher, Matt Berrigan, is especially proud to have of his students competing at such a high level.

“We’re very fortunate to have three of our students selected, This is what encapsulates Canadian history,” he said. “This gives students an opportunity to choose something that they are interested in and see how its roots come from Canadian history and see how it is something that is enjoyed by other Canadians as well.”

To garner up support for the students and get people ready to vote, the school will be holding a video launch on the day online voting opens on June 11, at 1:30 p.m. for the public to come see the videos.

“It’s also going to be kind of a celebratory thing because it’s amazing too that out of the six that could be selected three out of the same school were picked,” Bale said. “It’s quite an honour, so we’re going to have a party.”

Now it’s time for the grade 8 students to put their game faces on.

“I want to take people’s breath away, I want it to have that wow factor. I love doing these projects because I’m very competitive and I want it to be the best it can be,” Bale said.

“And I have to beat you!” Shoop joked back to his classmate. “The only thing on my mind is to win. I go to sleep at night thinking about what can I do to make this thing better, I just cant wait to see how this whole thing will turn out.”

Voting will be open from June 11 – July 11 and can be done online at by clicking on the Education link and looking for the Young Citizens tab.


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