DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – While classmates hit the books on this President’s day, fifth grade students from Carrollton’s Janie Stark Elementary were learning history—hands on.

“I got to interact with everything, and I got to actually do stuff instead of ‘Don’t touch that’ because it’s old or something,” said a beaming Lola Volkmar, 11.  “I got to actually touch everything, and it was a lot of fun.”

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When told that they were visiting the Bush Presidential Library in Dallas, many of the students understandably expected to see lots of books.  Instead, they were soon captivated by the museum’s video presentations and interactive displays.

“I really liked how they have a lot of simulators where you can simulate that you’re the president and you’re making all these decisions,” said Conner Jacobs.  But, pretending to be the president was more than enough for the 11-year-old.  When asked if he might want to be President one day, the response was an immediate and dramatic, “No.”

Some students were fascinated by the displays of the former first lady’s fashion sense.  “The necklaces and how much jewels they had on it,” said Tanner Barnwell, as she dissolved into a fit of giggles while admitting that she loved the ‘bling.’

For others, it was learning more about the not-so-long-ago events that so altered how we now live our lives.

“The 9-11 part,” admitted Blake Smith.  “The videos is what made it cool.  And God bless those people who died in 9-11,” and then with an 11-year-old’s on-point afterthought: “except for the terrorists.  They were just plain evil.”

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“I remember the display and the videos that they put out for us to watch,” said Irina DeLosSantos.

Blaine Frizzell, 12, was impressed by the twisted beams from the fallen tower and commented that the presidential museum made history “real.” And added that the experience was better than being in school.  “A lot better.  By a long shot.”

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