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Wax Museum event brings history to life

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Superintendent Jay Haugen leans in close to hear the soft-spoken speech of a fourth grade North Trail Elementary student representing Navy Seal Chris Kyle during the Wax Museum event. (Rivertown Multimedia Photo by Deanna Weniger)2 / 2

Lara LeDuc, 9, sat statuesque at her desk until someone approached and pressed her play button, which was shaped like a teepee.

The North Trail Elementary School fourth-grader looked up, her yellow feather bobbing in her hair, and began to speak.

"I'm Sacagawea, the interpreter on Lewis and Clark's expedition," she said.

She and about 128 other fourth-graders participated in the annual Wax Museum event at the school Friday, Feb. 10, in which students dress up like a character from history and tell their stories to parents and grandparents who come out for the event.

"It feels like the biggest crowd we've ever had," said teacher Kelly Galarneau over the hubbub of the group.

Teachers Diana Kell, Vicki Suker, Sarah Juncker, Erik Auge, Brita Gibart and Galarneau start preparing for the event in January with a lesson on biographies.

The students must research their character, write about them and develop a short speech comprised of four parts: an introduction, a personal story, extra information, and how this person made a difference in the world.

On presentation day, the students dressed up as their character, and placed a picture of the character on their iPad beside them near a "press me" button that was designed to fit the theme.

Baseball players used baseballs as their button. Milton Hershey had a large Hershey's kiss. Jacque Cousteau asked you to press a stuffed octopus.

"They sit still in a statue mode," explained Kell. "When their button gets pushed, they give their speech."

Superintendent Jay Haugen came out for the event, leaning in close to hear the soft-spoken speeches and remarking about the "great job" everyone had done.