Southern Maryland News
History comes alive at wax museum
There were at least four Abraham Lincolns and just as many Harriet Tubmans. The gymnasium lights bounced off the mirrored aviator lenses of FBI Special Agent Johnnie Mae Gibson; Frederick Douglass’s (cotton ball) beard and mane of hair needed a slight adjustment, and although there were a couple of Wilma Rudolphs, they didn’t race each other.
William B. Wade Elementary School second graders participated in a wax museum Wednesday, March 29, to tell “their” life stories to visitors, a release states.
“It’s really a hands-on approach to research and writing,” Heather McClain, a teacher at Wade, said in the release. Third- and fourth-grade students remember their projects, she said, and first graders look forward to participating when they get to second grade.
Some students choose their project’s focus because they look up to the historical figure.
“I think in real life, I’m a lot like her,” Marli Vaccaro, who portrayed astronomer Maria Mitchell, said in the release. Like, Mitchell, Vaccaro was introduced to astronomy by her father. The second grader also has favorite subjects in tune with Mitchell’s expertise. “She had a love of science and mathematics and I have a love of science and mathematics,” Vaccaro said.
Other students found their subject’s accomplishments inspiring.
“I thought it was interesting that he was the first African American to reach the North Pole and earn the Medal of Honor,” Shawn Walker said in the release of Matthew Henson.
“He had five years of school, I found that pretty interesting,” Garrett Wagner said in the release of Davy Crockett.
Charles Drew, an African-American surgeon, discovered how to store plasma for transfusions and developed the first large-scale blood bank. “He saved many lives during World War II,” second grader Michael Oluyede said in the release.
Michael Bagley selected a more contemporar y figure to study — countr y singer and “The Voice” judge Blake Shelton. “I like him. And I like to wear this shirt,” Bagley said, showing off his crisp plaid button up.