Families and friends of Olentangy's Oak Creek Elementary School second-graders were treated to a "Night at the Wax Museum" event Feb. 16.

Families and friends of Olentangy's Oak Creek Elementary School second-graders were treated to a "Night at the Wax Museum" event Feb. 16.

The event was the culminating activity for the students who studied historical figures who left an impact on the United States, said teacher Abby Francik.

Students researched the historic figures and portrayed them in the museum. The students in character stood statue-still until onlookers pressed a pretend remote, animating the historical figure who gave an informative speech.

"Students use historical artifacts, photographs, biographies, maps, diaries and folklore to answer questions about daily life in the past," Francik said. "(They looked) at the importance of individual actions and character and explain how they have made a difference in others' lives."

Isabella Williams portrayed Sacajawea. She said she selected her because she liked her character in the movie "Night at the Museum."

"She helped Lewis and Clark find the rest of America," Williams said. She was surprised to learn that Sacajawea was captured by a rival tribe, the Hidatsa.

Mason LeBel said he portrayed Orville Wright, "because I thought he was cool and I wanted to wear a mustache."

LeBel's costume included a marker-drawn mustache.

Wright was important because "he made a plane that had an engine," LeBel said, and he was surprised to learn the Wright brothers had sold bicycles.

"I never knew they worked in a shop like that." he said.

Connor Gabin selected Jackie Robinson as his research project.

He's important because "he was the first black player in the Major Leagues," Gabin said.

Gabin was surprised to learn that Robinson had served in the Army during World War II.

To prepare for the museum presentation, students read one or two biographies on their person of choice and took notes, Francik said.

The hands-on project "gives students great motivation to read, research, and work hard, knowing that they will have to present their findings to their families," Francik said. "It not only helps them learn how to research, but also how to be an effective communicator. They have to consider how their person dressed, spoke, felt about unfair laws or rules, and acted in order to become that famous person for the evening. It incorporates many learning styles as the project involves reading, writing, drawing, speaking and acting."

Francik said that while the students only study one historical person in depth, "They are constantly hearing the research of their friends, so, they learn a lot about 20 famous people."

The students performed a dress rehearsal for first-grade students during the school day.