For the first time in Darlington School’s 10-year tradition, the third grade class used community members as the theme for their annual wax museum.

The wax museum is a special project put on by the third graders. They study a specific person, write a report, practice a speech and create an exhibit dedicated to that person. They then dress as their subject and present their speech to everyone who stops by their exhibit.

When it came time to choose the theme, teacher Steven McConnell was at a loss until his son suggested healthcare workers.

“We wanted to do something really special,” he said. “The advancement office had asked us for a long time if we could do a Darlington wax museum and this ended up being the perfect year to do that. So they helped me come up with a list of alumni or parents that were involved in the medical field or frontline workers.”

Usually, the kids are given a book to read to learn about the person, but since they were using community members, McConnell set up Zoom interviews with his students and their subjects.

“The kids came up with 10 questions to ask ... it was amazing to watch 8- and 9-year-olds interview full-time professionals,” the teacher said.

The 21 volunteers also sent some of their own items from their work for the students to use in their exhibits. Each student also created a portrait of their subject and dressed up in their usual medical attire.

Since they were unable to host an in-person wax museum last year, McConnell was excited to bring it to Thatcher Hall this year.

“Normally, we have it over in the Huffman Center and the whole school is allowed to come,” he said. “This year, we decided to just do fourth and fifth grade.”

From 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., the volunteers came and met the students in person to listen to their presentations. Students’ parents were also allowed to visit the museum.

“This has been an amazing come-together of everyone here,” McConnell said. “It’s been a wonderful combination of all we do academically and folks on campus. We call it a one-school effort.”

McConnell hopes they will use community members sometime again in the future for the wax museum.

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