“I want to be an astronaut when I grow up,” Calleigh Means said through a makeshift helmet of aluminum foil and plastic wrap.

Thirty-seven pint-sized famous faces crowded the Rowland Elementary School library Wednesday as part of the school’s first living wax museum, where Calleigh portrayed Sally Ride, female astronaut.

Students create live wax museum

Calleigh Means portrays astronaut Sally Ride during a live wax museum event at Rowland Elementary School in Victoria.

The event was composed of costumed fifth-graders positioned and ready to deliver information about their selected figures to parents, staff and fellow students.

Part-time teacher Camille Miller led the project, which aimed to present history in a new and exciting way. Miller was inspired by a similar event at her grandson’s elementary school in Houston last year. She pitched the idea to Principal Tammy Garza, who was immediately supportive.

“She’s been putting in her own time and did this out of the goodness of her heart to provide this opportunity for the students,” Garza said about Miller.

Students were selected to participate through an enrichment program. They were required to research and write a speech about a historic figure of their choosing.

All preparation for the living wax museum was done during school hours over the course of seven days. Librarian Laurie Vogt helped students find books and articles as part of their research. Costume items were donated by numerous members of the Rowland staff, and trifold boards were purchased by the school to give students a physical way to present their information.

After the positive reception by students and faculty, Miller said she hopes to see the event continue in years to come.

“I’m just so excited that we finally got to do it,” Miller said. “I’ve been waiting for this all year.”

Chamberlain Smith is a multimedia intern at the Victoria Advocate. Follow her on Instagram @chamberlainsmith.

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