History Check app set to launch contest

Pearl Lorentzen
For South Peace News

Sheila Willis lives on an acreage just outside Smith and created the History Check app several years ago. The app went province-wide last year.

In the next few months, school students across Alberta will have a chance to make their mark on the app.

History Check is a map-based tourism app, with a focus on history. It has profiles of local businesses, museums, and other locations with cultural and historic interest from 650 communities across Alberta.

Currently, users have a little green person on the app to show an item of interest. This avatar is called ING, as in camping, dining, exploring.

“I personally think Alberta is lots of fun, so we want to make ING fun,” says Willis.

The judges will choose nine avatars from all submissions. This will allow future app users to choose from a variety of avatars, not be limited to ING’s current generic green person form.

Other avatars may be used for marketing by History Check and its partners.

The competition is for Grade 4-12 students. They build a character based on Alberta history, experience, culture or animals.

“There’s no better imagination than that of kids,” Willis says.

She’s looking forward to what combinations come up. She’s open to anything as long as it is connected to Alberta. For example, a ‘zip-lining zebra’ wouldn’t work because a zebra isn’t an Alberta animal.

The competition opens April 1 and goes until May 30.

History Check is looking for collaborations with chambers of commerce to host pizza parties for the school classes of the winners.

Winners will receive a family pass for Alberta’s provincial historic sites, interpretive centres and museums. These include Historic Dunvegan on the Peace River, Oil Sands Discovery Centre in Fort McMurray, and the Royal Tyrell Museum in Drumheller.

The information has been sent to the school districts. Teachers can contact Willis at info@impacttourism.ca

“We don’t want anyone left out,” she says.

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