Page Living Wax Museum Welcomes Guests

Portraying their research subject, students were stationed around the cafeteria beside a poster they made. Each poster included a red “button” for parents and family members to push and hear the students, acting as their famous person, give a brief biography they wrote and many even memorized.

Fourth-grader Myah Rosales tucked her arm up into her sleeve to appear to only have a partial arm. A surfboard with what looked like a shark bit taken out of it was propped up against her display area as she portrayed surfer Bethany Hamilton. 

“She (Hamilton) is very inspiring to me. She could have just stopped fighting and died but she didn’t. She never gave up and only one month after she lost her arm in the shark attack she was back in the water. She never gave up on herself,” said Rosales. 

Law Griffin dressed as George Washington with a curly white wig, blue coat and tall boots. He eagerly spoke to guests about what he learned about our first president. “I learned he was 67 years old when he died and that his children were actually his step-children. This is fun. I like doing this,” said Griffin of the museum.

“This project covered so many things,” said teacher Sarah Keizer. “We did research skills, learned how to take notes in their own words, practiced making good decisions about what to include in their presentations, reading, writing, and those presentation skills that they just haven’t had much opportunity to do before this.”

Students wrote a full biography then had to decide what to include in their presentations and on their posters. They even coordinated their project in art class by drawing portraits of their subject to add to the posters.  

Serenna Martinez researched Rosa Parks. “I just think that Black people are like everybody else and everyone needs to be treated the same,” she said. “She’s (Rosa Parks) a perfect example for people to understand. She did the right thing and even though she had to go to jail it was right for her to stick up for what is right.”

Kinley Wilson dressed as Amelia Earhart with a flight hat, goggles, jacket and scarf. “I liked doing the research. It was kind of fun,” she said. 

Khiem Chau presented information on Neil Armstrong. “I would have wanted to be the first person to walk on the moon, but I’m too late,” he said. “I would definitely go into space if I could.”

Harrison Roodvoets and Milo Burghardt each wore New York Yankees attire as they represented Derek Jeter and Babe Ruth. “I like to watch baseball with my dad sometimes and we always watch the Yankees so I thought Derek Jeter would be a neat person to research. I like that he grew up in Michigan,” said Harrison Roodvoets.

Wearing a black robe encircled by a lace collar, Sophia Magneson was transformed from fourth-grade student to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. “She was pretty impressive. I think it was fun to do all the research and learn more about her.”

Elliott Wilson, with handcuffs around his wrist, was magician and escape artist Harry Houdini. “That’s not his real name. He got that name from some neighborhood kids,” said Wilson. “I also learned that the water torture trick is not impossible to do.”

Throughout the cafeteria students buzzed with excitement as guests stopped to see and hear their presentations.

“They (students) haven't had opportunities to practice their public speaking skills so this was something new to them. Some of them were very nervous so we had to work on those presentation skills a lot in class,” said Keizer. “It’s hard to talk in front of people and give a presentation and this just helps them with that confidence,” she said. 

Meredith said she was pleased with what students accomplished. “In addition to learning more about a person's life (entire life, not just their career or what they are well known for), I believe that students learned that hard work pays off.  Researching, writing a biography, and memorizing a speech was not easy - but they were proud of their final products and loved presenting and sharing their knowledge with an audience.  Speaking in front of others was intimidating for some at first, but many were comfortable by the end of the museum.”