Philadelphia students celebrate historical African Americans in STEM

Published: Feb. 28, 2022 at 6:58 PM CST

PHILADELPHIA, Miss. (WTOK) - Students in Philadelphia told stories of the past as they portrayed historic black figures who impacted the STEM community during a special museum Monday.

5th-grade students at Philadelphia Elementary created a ‘Living Wax Museum’ for their fellow classmates and teachers to celebrate Black History Month.

“We get to learn more about our culture,” said 5th-grade student, Melody Wilson.

“Never be ashamed of your color and to be who you are,” said 5th-grade student, Makinley Cole.

As visitors toured the museum the class was brought to life and told impactful stories of the historical figures they represented. From hair products to ice cream there were many African Americans who paved the way through technology and science.

“What inspired me to portray Mary Jackson was her love for math and science and how hard she worked to become NASA’s first black female engineer,” said 5th-grade student, Aubree Hudson.

Science teacher Sonya Smith said she wanted her students to learn about the people who look like them, that made a difference in the STEM community.

“It is very important for our students to realize that there are so many other career opportunities in the world and that so many people that are just like them have made such great accomplishments to better our nation,” said Smith.

And learned they did.

“She lets us do a lot of things and this has been an amazing year with Ms. Smith,” said 5th-grade student Brooklyn Crosby.

“Shout out to Ms. Smith for being the best teacher we’ve ever had. If it wasn’t for her, we wouldn’t be going on field trips, and we would never be learning stuff that we learn now,” said 5th-grade student, Brelan Hunter.

“I love the live wax museum. Me too,” said Crosby and Hunter.

Smith said she plans on making this an annual project for her students during Black History Month.