East Three Elementary School hosted its annual Learning Fair on Feb. 26, with 154 students in Grades 4, 5 and 6 displaying their projects in the gym for peers, teachers, parents and judges to see.
The fair was a mix of life, heritage and science projects. Students displayed bristol boards pasted with images and information on topics such as their grandparents, carving, hockey teams and players, Arctic sports, homemade recipes, slime creation and more.
Margaret Gordon, a Grade 4 teacher at East Three Elementary School who organized the fair, said the fair gives students a chance to broaden their interests, and in some cases, allows them to learn more about their family’s history.
“When they do a heritage project, it’s really interesting because kids find out who they are and who their relatives are, things about their heritage,” Gordon said. “They find out who they’re related to. They become prouder.”
By engaging in these projects, she hopes students develop a better understanding of who they are, and sparks their interest in various fields.
“In Grade 4, we talk a lot about being the best person you can be and making the difference in a lot of the stuff you do, and how it will affect them as adults,” she said.
The students worked on their projects for two weeks before the day of the fair, and were able to practice their presentations in front of their peers in the classroom.
“We get the kids to present them and they are so proud. We’re also rehearsing for the judges,” Gordon said.
According to Gordon, the judges for the fair consisted of around 25 volunteers from the community, including members of the RCMP, the IRC, the Gwich’in Tribal Council and more.
Thirteen students across the three grades were awarded, with prizes that included certificates and up to $30 in cash. Each student had his or her project assessed and graded by their teachers.
In previous years, the school would host a science fair one year and a heritage fair the next, but has since combined the two to allow students to explore whatever topic they like.
“We had only 11 science fair projects and the rest were heritage. There were some learning (projects),” Gordon said.
She added that such fairs have been hosted for around 20 years, beginning at the old Sir Alexander Mackenzie School.
“It’s been a long time… I’ve been working with it for 10 or more years,” she said. “I just can’t keep track of the years.”