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The Project

The Passion Project is a required part of the Grade 10 year at Balmoral Hall School. Students consider their interests and future goals to come up with a project of their choosing that they work on throughout the year with the support of a teacher advisor. Students must use various resources to influence their project's outcome and show their work in a website. Since my final project is a map, I combined my research and the required website to display my work. My Passion Project is a digital map of the geographical features named after fallen Winnipeg Grenadiers in 1941-1945.

Choosing the Project

When I am interested or want to improve in something, I work hard and put my full efforts into completing or learning it. Some of my passions include reading and playing badminton. Particularly, reading has provided me with lots of knowledge in subjects I would have never pictured myself exploring and taking an interest in. Reading has helped me figure out what I am most passionate about and has helped ease the stressful and sometimes overwhelming aspects of my life. During quarantine, I explored a new genre I had a little interest in but had never read before, history. I started with a dive into Second World War non-fiction, particularly, The Second World War Series by Winston Churchill. The series was different than any other books I had ever read and knowing that everything that was happening in the biography were real world events was sobering, and a new kind of interesting that I had never experienced before and wanted to further explore. After finishing the six-book series, for once in my life I felt proudly educated and prepared to have meaningful conversations with my parents and peers about my acquired knowledge. Next, I read books exploring historical subjects from the Klondike Gold Rush to Winnipeg in 1912.  


Obtaining this knowledge has allowed me to apply my learnings in school and when hearing references in movies or pieces of writing. Being able to understand when I hear a reference about a subject that I have read about makes me excited to experience meaningful conversations about it and share what I know. From the beginning, I knew for my passion project that I wanted to explore a Canadian historic event. I did not wish to just write a piece about a significant Canadian moment in history; however, I wanted to create something visual and interactive using the knowledge I had previously acquired through reading. 

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My biggest challenge throughout the process was figuring out what I wanted to create using my knowledge of modern history. I was interested in the Second World War and had read many books about the topic and major battles. I came to the realization that Canada’s war effort has been largely unrecognized by the public because it has been overshadowed by American and British materials. In result of this, I started to read books specifically about Canada in the Second World War. I discovered the Battle of Hong Kong and the geographical commemorative features from reading a book by Canadian author, Tim Cook. I was immediately interested in ‘C’ Force because I believe what happened to the young men was unjust and upon being repatriated to Canada, they were not recognized for their sacrifices in the large way that they should have been. Tim Cook vaguely mentioned the ways Manitoba had honoured the fallen Winnipeg Grenadiers. I was interested in the Manitoba geographical features that were named after the deceased from the Winnipeg Grenadiers regiment; however, I could not find a digital version of a map marking the commemorative features. Consequently, I decided to create a digital map on Google Earth that displays every commemorative geographical feature named after deceased grenadiers from 1941-1945. 

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Profile of a Graduate: Problem Solver

During the course of my project, I encountered several problems including organization, managing my time and finding efficient ways to create the map. I knew organization would be a problem for me and as I completed my Passion Project Criteria for my University Guidance class, I realized I needed to get in front of this problem. Early on in my project I started to work on my organization by creating folders in my computer to store my project meetings, steps, research and the actual photos. Addressing this early really helped me a lot. Managing my time was a challenge all the way through my project but again, I was able to solve this problem by planning when I would set aside time to work. My obligation to work hard and be focused reminded me to set meetings with my advisor and accomplish tasks on time. Another thing I did to manage time was to mainly get the bulk of my work completed on the breaks and weekends.  

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My advice for anyone considering creating a project similar to mine is firstly, to begin with the end-goal in mind. Envisioning your end goal is important because it helps you stay focused and organized throughout the completion of your project. At the beginning of this process, although I knew I was interested in Canadian history, I did not know what I wanted my project to look like. I felt unsure of my work and did not have a clear direction of where my project was going. Once I discovered what I wanted to create, I was focused and determined to complete my project.  


(Book that educated me about the Defence of Hong Kong & the geographical features)

Secondly, it is important to invest time in your project and not rush the process in order to finish quickly. I have always been a student who focuses on a specific goal and tries to complete it in a couple sittings so I can check it off my “to do” list. However, I found that the best and most rewarding way to complete this project was to work on it over the course of many months. This eased the stress of having to rush to complete and allowed me to work efficiently and effectively. Lastly, make sure you choose a project that you are passionate and knowledgeable about. Creating the map, I had to learn how to navigate Google Earth and use it in a way that best displayed my work and looked like what I had originally pictured. If you are using a new platform to display your work, make sure you know how to use it to your best advantage.  

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