Start a Project: Frequently Asked Questions

What is an Unsung Hero?

An Unsung Hero is a person who created positive change in history but has yet to be recognized.

What are some characteristics of Unsung Heroes?

Unsung Heroes can have one or more of these characteristics:

  • Courage
  • Compassion
  • Conscience
  • Perseverance
  • Generosity
  • Selflessness
  • Valor
  • Vision
  • Humility
  • Wisdom

Why should I discover Unsung Heroes?

Many young people today lack positive role models or associate heroism with fame, looking up to celebrities and sports stars who may at times set poor examples. Unsung Heroes projects champion people who do extraordinary things regardless of popularity or convenience—and simply because it was the right thing to do.

What is project-based learning?

Project-based learning (PBL) is an instructional approach built upon active, collaborative learning that engages student interest and motivation. Instead of merely memorizing information, completing worksheets or reading alone, students engaged in PBL learn to think critically, work in teams and contribute to common goals.

What does project-based learning accomplish?

PBL allows students to reflect upon their own ideas and opinions to make decisions that affect project outcomes and the learning process in general. Students gain a deeper understanding of the concepts and standards at the heart of a project. The Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes takes a unique approach to PBL, teaching educators and students to research through primary and secondary sources and put their findings together in a thematic way, namely the discovery of Unsung Heroes.

How does the Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes use project-based learning?

The Lowell Milken Center mentors, supports and provides resources for students and educators in the pursuit of project-based learning that celebrates Unsung Heroes who have changed the world.

How do I choose an Unsung Heroes topic?

Think, read and talk! Topics for research are all around you. Think about a time in history or individuals or events that are interesting to you. Start a list. Read books, newspapers or other sources of information and add to your list. Talk with relatives, neighbors or people you know who have lived through a significant time in history and add more ideas. Keep thinking, reading and talking to people until you have many ideas that are interesting. Now go back through the list and circle the ideas that connect with the theme. From the ideas that you circled, select one to begin your research. Keep your list because you might need it again.

I have an idea for a topic, now what?

Narrow down the topic and connect it to the theme. Selecting an Unsung Hero topic is a process of gradually narrowing down the area of history (period or event) that interests you to a manageable subject. From there, consider the resources you have available to you—perhaps your local historical society or library—and where you might find further information. Look for people to interview. Check out our 10 Steps to Get Started.