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Wax figures come to life!

Leonard fourth-grader Ian Betley portrays Thomas Crapper, popularizer of the toilet and inventor of the floating ballcock. Let’s give him a sitting ovation! (click for larger version)
April 04, 2012 - Some of history's most well-known – and little-known –inventors and innovators were immortalized at Leonard Elementary last week as part of a living wax museum.

Fifty fourth-graders dressed up as famous figures such as Issac Newton, George Washington Carver, Amelia Earhart, Alfred Nobel, Henry Ford, Neil Armstrong and Steve Jobs.

They filled the school gym and posed as wax figures who came to life and told their stories whenever someone pressed a button.

It was all part of a unit the students were studying entitled, "How human innovation impacts the world."

"The students had to research an innovator or inventor to see how they impacted the world and how they impacted them personally," explained fourth-grade teacher Michael Johnson.

Johnson indicated the project gave students the opportunity to "feel what (their subjects) felt" and "what they were going through."

Presenting their findings to rest of the school via the wax museum was a creative way to "relay that message to other kids and make a difference in their lives."

Each student was required to construct a three-dimensional model depicting something the innovator or inventor was famous for such as Jobs' revolutionary iPad, Nobel's explosive dynamite, Armstrong's rocket to the moon, Ford's affordable automobile and Carver's versatile peanut.

This reporter's favorite was the old-fashioned toilet built by student Ian Betley, who portrayed Thomas Crapper (1836-1910), the British plumber and industrialist who increased the popularity of the toilet and invented the floating ballcock.

Overall, Johnson was quite pleased with the wax museum. "The kids enjoyed doing it," he said. "They did a fantastic job."

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.
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