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History on display at MAES

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Not only did they have to learn about their historical figure, they had to act like it.

Fifth-grade students at Morris Area Elementary School recently completed a wax museum history project. Students picked a historical figure, did the research to write an essay and, then, designed a cutout figure of the person, dressed like the person and gave a presentation in the wax museum project.

"We had to stand at the table frozen until someone walked up to us," Ashley Koehl said.

"I wasn't nervous. Most of the people I knew them," Darin VanHorn said of the people who viewed his historical display.

Staying in character was sometimes a challenge.

"I found it really hard," Kia Anderson said of acting as scientist Isaac Newton. "People kept asking about the apple incident."

While there may have been a few challenges, the students were happy they could act like an historical figure they chose.

"I think is was more important that we got to pick our own person (rather than have a teacher select)," Jason Christians said. "If the teacher assigned it, you maybe would get someone you didn't know."

Students picked athletes, singers, scientists and others.

"The first time I tried to find a person, I couldn't find anyone interesting," Sandra Cardenas said. She was looking for a singer or actress. She did find an interesting historical person in French actress Sarah Bernhardt.

J.T. Kill chose retired Dallas Cowboys coach Tom Landry. Sports figures were popular choices. Jackson Gades chose NHL player Sidney Crosby and Leonel Chavez chose professional soccer player Lionel "Leo" Messi.

Hailey Werk chose scientist Marie Curie. "...I wanted to pick a scientist. I couldn't find too many scientists that were girls," Werk said.

The students said they learned while doing their research.

"I liked it. It was interesting and fun," Isaac Hoffman said. Hoffman chose Fusajiro Yamauchi, the man who founded the company that became Nintendo.

"Some of the research said he had no childhood," Hoffman said.

Not only was Martin Luther King, Jr. a civil rights activist, "he had four children and wrote five books," Donivan Halstead said. Before the wax museum project, "You knew (King's) name but I never knew (the other information.) I learned a lot."