Jed Davis of Adrianne Bosic's class at Nikiski North Star Elementary recited his speech on Bob Ross, host of "The Joy of Painting," at the school's wax museum on Thursday, March 30. Davis sported Ross' signature hair and his pet, Peapod the Pocket Squirrel. (Kat Sorensen/Peninsula Clarion)

Jed Davis of Adrianne Bosic's class at Nikiski North Star Elementary recited his speech on Bob Ross, host of "The Joy of Painting," at the school's wax museum on Thursday, March 30. Davis sported Ross' signature hair and his pet, Peapod the Pocket Squirrel. (Kat Sorensen/Peninsula Clarion)

Move over, Madame Tussauds

Students at Nikiski North Star Elementary took a page from Madame Tussaud’s playbook on Thursday when they hosted their own wax museum highlighting important figures from American history.

“Today they are dressed up as a wax museum figure and are giving about 100 speeches throughout the day about their person, how they impacted American history and why they’re important,” said teacher Adrianne Bostic.

Bostic’s classroom of third, fourth and fifth graders worked alongside Matt Boyle and Kris Barnes’ fifth grade classes to host the wax museum during the school day Thursday.

From Alexander Graham Bell to Bob Ross, the classrooms were filled with 74 unique presentations. Each student chose three potential people for their project and had to persuade their teacher of each selection’s importance.

“We made sure that each student was assigned one of there three choices and that there weren’t any repeats. … We wanted them to pick someone they knew at least a little bit about, that interested them in some way,” Bostic said.

The selections varied from actors and musicians to famous outlaws and inventors. As visitors toured the classrooms, the students showed off their costumes and would recite their figure’s stories when asked.

“I’m the luckiest person I know because I get to play the game I love,” said Everett Chamberlain, as golfer Arnold Palmer, with a putter in hand.

“I liked building the poster and I liked learning about golf,” Chamberlain said. “I learned that he made a million dollars and had 92 career wins.”

Each student created a multimedia poster to go along with their speeches. The posters included photos of the historical figures at different points in their lives and different fun facts.

Did you know that Marvel comic book creator Stan Lee is a germaphobe? Blaec Beale does, as well as Lee’s age, birthday and that his favorite superhero is Spider-Man.

Each of the students had different reasoning behind choosing the figures they did.

Truit McCaughey explained that he chose Robert Leroy Parker, better known as Butch Cassidy, because the two are possibly related.

“My great-grandpa was always told that Butch was his dad,” McCaughey said. “He was a really big outlaw and at his biggest robbery he stole over $70,000.”

Other students decided to play the name game when it came to choosing their subjects, like Alex Martinez, who dressed up as Alexander Graham Bell since they shared the same first name. He learned that Bell did “a whole lot more” than invent the telephone.

Dylan Hall also learned some surprising information about his subject.

“I chose Bob Dylan because his last name is my first name,” Hall said. “I learned that Bob Dylan is still alive and has earned a lot of awards.”

The wax museum was open all day Thursday and welcomed other classrooms at Nikiski North Star to tour the classrooms, as well as families of the students and community members. The students had plenty of opportunities to show off their hard work and what they learned. They will follow up the wax museum with a five paragraph essay further explaining their figures historical impact.

“They get to do multimedia research, acting, presenting, dressing up,” Boyle said. “It really touches on a lot of different ways of learning. Plus, they love dressing up.”

Reach Kat Sorensen at

More in Life

Virginia Walters (Courtesy photo)
Life in the Pedestrian Lane: This and that

Organizations are running out of people to keep them going

This Al Hershberger photo of his good friend Hedley Parsons was taken in Germany in 1945, after World War II had ended. Parsons and Hershberger came to Alaska together a few years later, and in 2010, when Parsons was interviewed for this story, he may have been the last person living who had actually attended George Dudley’s messy funeral
This parting was not sweet sorrow — Part 2

The funeral was scheduled for 2 p.m. on May 5, and spring break-up was in full, sloppy bloom at the Kenai Cemetery

Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion
A copy of “People, Paths, and Places: The Frontier History of Moose Pass, Alaska” stands in sunlight in Soldotna on Friday.
Off the Shelf: Community history project a colorful portrait of hometown

The book features the work of students at Moose Pass School and integrates further stories pulled from a community newspaper

The Anchorage Bowl Chamber Orchestra performs. (Photo courtesy Anchorage Bowl Chamber Orchestra)
Anchorage orchestra group to visit Kenai Peninsula for 10th annual tour

Anchorage Bowl Chamber Orchestra will play four shows from May 30 to June 2

Minister’s Message: Boasting only in Christ and the Cross

The Reverend Billy Graham advised every president since Truman during his lifetime

Corn cheese is served alongside grilled beef, kimchi and lettuce. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
Planning barbecue with all the bells and whistles

Expect kimchi, lots of side dishes, piles of rice, marinated meat for the flame and cold fruit for dessert

Noa (voiced by Owen Teague) in 20th Century Studios’ “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes.” (Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios)
On the Screen: New ‘Planet of the Apes’ expands, brings new ideas to franchise universe

“Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes” tells a story that feels more rooted in fantasy than the post-apocalypse vibe of its predecessors

A mural depicting imagery and iconography of Kenai brightens the entryway of the Walmart in Kenai, Alaska, on Wednesday, May 15, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
‘Visible art raises people’s spirits’

Local artist’s mural introduced as part of Walmart renovations

Former North Kenai resident George Coe Dudley, seen here during the winter of 1950-51, was a hard-drinking man. His messy funeral in 1967 in Kenai echoed his lifestyle. (Photo courtesy of Al Hershberger)
This parting was not sweet sorrow — Part 1

“Dudley was an easy-going, laid-back sort of guy, always laughing and joking, as well as hard drinking.”

Most Read