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Walnut valley Unified School District

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Our motto is KIDS FIRST... Every Student, Every Day!   Valley USD is proud to be a National Schools to Watch District with numerous National Blue Ribbon, California Gold Ribbon, and California Distinguished School awards. 

Explorers Through the Ages

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November 18, 2022

By Kelli Gile, WVUSD Office of Community Resources

DIAMOND BAR, CA--The Castle Rock Elementary fifth grade Living Museum returned Thursday after a three-year pandemic pause.

About 150 cleverly costumed IB-PYP students presented research projects on famous explorers through the ages.  

“Just press their button and they’ll come alive and tell you their life story!” shared teacher Lori Stokes.

The Living Museum is the culmination of research, practice, and creativity.

After a unit of study on exploration, students depicted pioneers from ancient through modern times including 12th century voyager Marco Polo and astronaut Buzz Aldrin.

Wearing a pipe cleaner curly mustache, Tianni Gong depicted Sir Frances Drake who sailed around the world in the late 1500s.

“I love that we presented in front of so many people and they got to see our hard work!” she said.

Families, teachers, staff, and schoolmates rotated through the exhibit held in the multi-purpose room.

“I think the fact that parents were allowed to come and see us made me happy,” shared Amin Shah who portrayed Norse explorer Leif Erikson. 

“And we got to do it in person this year!”

Morgan Nguyen selected Sacajawea who was made famous for helping the Lewis and Clark Expedition in 1804.

“I loved dressing up, saying my speech, and creating my timeline,” she said.

“It was fun!” 

Teacher Julie Urbaniec echoed the exhilaration of students who frequently shared interesting facts they discovered during the research. 

“They got so excited learning about their personal explorers!” 


Castle Rock Elementary fifth graders presented a Living Museum of explorers through the ages on November 17.