Life experience inspired the project that will soon take a young Abbotsford student to the Provincial Heritage Fair.
Ten-year-old Josh Appenheimer from Dunach Elementary will head to Victoria from July 4 to July 8 to showcase his history project on John Hopps, the inventor of the Canadian pacemaker.
Appenheimer chose the topic because of his own connection with the invention – he’s had a pacemaker since he was an infant.
Born eight weeks premature and with bradycardia, a slow heartbeat, Appenheimer received a pacemaker.
Luckily, it’s never kicked into high gear, said the talkative Grade 4 student.
Initially, Appenheimer wanted to focus his project on the gold rush.
“I was looking at an invention guide and was looking through pictures of pickaxes, and I was just skipping through the pages and saw the pacemaker and I was so amazed,” he said. “I showed the teacher and she said ‘Get on it, you’re gonna win this fair.’ She really inspired me.”
Appenheimer’s project outlines the history of Hopps, who died in 1998.
“He died two years before I was born. It would have been an exciting moment if I could have interviewed him.”
His project also includes two real pacemakers loaned to him from the BC Children’s Hospital.
After participating in the school-level Heritage Fair in March, Appenheimer competed at the Fraser Valley Regional Heritage Fair in Abbotsford in April.
There he was chosen to represent the Fraser Valley region at the Provincial Heritage Fair.
The event will be more of an open house, said Appenheimer, adding “it’s just a celebration, it’s not about winning.”
He will be joined by Abbotsford students Brayden Baerg, Natalie Timmermans and Kezia Ewert, and Maple Ridge student Maddison Phare on the chaperoned trip.