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Constance Murray, 11, ponders a LEGO sculpture.
Night at the Museum (of Science and Industry) posted on 06/02/2017

In Ben Stiller’s 2006 movie, “Night at the Museum,” a curse makes the exhibits come to life, making for one mischievous evening.

Fortunately, for 49 students from Welches School, the night of Wednesday, May 17 wasn’t quite so dramatic when they trekked into Portland to spend a night at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI).

That’s not to say that there weren’t some disruptions.

“It was rough, it was very rough, a lot of people were snoring,” said Malakai Roches, 11, a fifth grader, who then added, “I actually feel well rested.”

The school used to go on the field trip on a yearly basis, noted fourth/fifth grade teacher Sharon Nobel, but stopped in 2011. But at the urging of fifth grade teacher Kalee Adams, fourth and fifth graders, along with Nobel, Adams and parent chaperones, broke out their sleeping bags and set up camp among OMSI’s exhibits in the science hall.

“I wanted to sleep at OMSI, who doesn’t want to experience that?” Adams said.

Students enjoyed an evening of dinner, a planetarium showing, a trip through the LEGO exhibit, “The Art of the Brick,” and lessons on a variety of subjects, including black bears, erosion, pollution, earthquakes and tsunamis. Four total schools and approximately 250 students took part in the event, which OMSI offers throughout the winter and spring.

“They do a good job of keeping the kids engaged,” Nobel said. “It’s fun to see the kids in a different light, out of the classroom. They get to see us differently, bed head and all.”

Fifth grader Chloe Sperr, 10, noted her favorite activity was learning about the black bears, during which they had to collect poker chips to secure food, water and a safe place to hibernate.

“That was kind of fun,” she said.

Fifth grader Elliott Chesla, 11, said that while the group got access to everything, she most enjoyed the tour of the submarine and the planetarium show. And a (mostly) good night of rest.

“I slept pretty good, but we didn’t fall asleep until like one o’clock in the morning,” said Chesla, adding that they got up at 6:50 a.m. “And I’m not tired one bit.”

By Garth Guibord/MT

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