WEST POINT -- Madame Tussauds has nothing on the creativity of the sixth-graders at Lakeside Elementary School.
On Thursday, approximately 130 students became living wax statues, portraying characters from the ancient civilizations of Greece, Rome and Egypt. Each student's display was complete with an activation button and a scenic backdrop.
The students were frozen in place until they were activated by a passerby wanting to learn more about the statue. When they came to life, students presented a 30-second speech summarizing the life of their character.
"I had never heard of Persephone before," said Timary Sessions, after completing her memorized speech about the Greek goddess. "I know everything about her now."
Timary, dressed in a flowing robe, held a bouquet of spring flowers and wore a wreath of flowers on her head. Persephone is often associated with springtime, she said.
Heidi Allred, Timary's mother, said her daughter has been looking forward to this since last year.
"I think it helps them learn about the mythology of all of the different cultures, and it gives them a view of other countries and the things that they did in the past," she said. "It's just amazing. I love it."
Sixth-grade teacher Kris Orton, who referred to herself as the museum curator, has been involved with the annual event since it began five years ago.
Orton praised the event for the way it incorporates many different aspects of learning. The students learn to integrate such skills as oral language, research, writing and creativity to form a complete project, she said.
"It engages the students and gives them a higher level of motivation," Orton said. "I think it's a real confidence-builder as well."
"The wax museum is always fun," said Principal Ronald Holt. "It gives the kids the opportunity to research history and put themselves in the place of a classic personality. They learn a lot."