.....Advertisement.....
.....Advertisement.....

Explorers from across the centuries come alive

-A A +A
By Carol A. Clark

An explorer wax museum created inside Aspen Elementary School Wednesday featured 49 living sculptures replicating famous explorers.They were all there. Amelia Earhart, the first woman to fly across the Atlantic; Sally Ride, the first American woman to fly in space; Louis Bleriot, the first man to fly the English Channel; and Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon.Members of the public listened as wax sculptures came alive and described details of their adventurous lives.Primatologist Jane Goodall shared her years studying chimpanzees, Venetian trader Marco Polo recounted his worldwide travels, and navigator and colonizer Christopher Columbus voiced vivid tales of his voyages across the Atlantic Ocean.Fifth-grade teacher Kurt Adams is in his 21st year teaching at Aspen and 31st year as a teacher.He and fifth-grade teachers Jenny Diesburg-Lathrop and Maire O’Neill worked together with the students, preparing them for Wednesday's educational event.“This culminates the explorer unit the children have been studying in social studies,” Adams said. “They did the research, made their costumes, created their posters and wrote their speeches.”The teachers decided not to limit the cast of characters to just the 15th and 16th centuries, instead including explorers from space, science and other modern-day fields, Adams said.He added that next year they may even include music explorers.Diesburg-Lathrop is a teacher from Mountain Elementary School who began teaching at Aspen this year.“We presented this wax museum at Mountain and it’s also done at other schools in the district,” she said. “It's been a month-long project that brings together many pieces of the curriculum in a highly motivating event.”As she looked around the room at the students taking on the personae of the various explorers, she smiled and said, “It is very cool to watch this all come together.”O’Neill agreed. Pride in her students was evident as she pointed them out and marveled at the fine job they were doing in articulating their chosen explorer to virtual strangers.“I’m just so proud of them all,” she said, choking back tears.