Fifth graders' Jeff Goldblum obsession gets love from Pittsburgh actor

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Chris Pastrick, The Tribune-Review, Greensburg
·3 min read
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May 3—Sometimes, school can be really fun. Not to mention a brush with your celebrity obsession.

The fifth graders at Bristol Elementary in Webster Groves, Mo., have been working remotely this year because of the pandemic. The class's teacher Samantha Brown decided — as great teachers are apt to do — to make the most of it.

One of her students, Max Giordano, has a fascination with actor Jeff Goldblum, a West Homestead native.

"Early in the year, Max and I were discussing our shared love of the 'Jurassic Park' films, which then quickly transitioned into talking about the actor Jeff Goldblum," Brown told the Webster Kirkwood Times. "It was no surprise that in a group of 10- and 11-year-olds that not many knew who he was. To my surprise, we had a resident Jeff Goldblum expert. Max was excited and quick to educate everyone on who he was, his work and any other information he had knowledge of or could find. Jeff Goldblum began to come up more regularly in our class ... and the fandom continued."

Brown spotted an opportunity to make learning fun.

"All the students were so quick to hop on the Jeff Goldblum train ... I just had to add it into the lessons," she told the Times. "Between the pandemic and these students being virtual all year, I wanted to modify lessons and activities that fit their interests, and this was obviously something that was growing bigger and bigger."

All year long, the students at the St. Louis suburban school have created Goldblum-inspired stories, artwork, digital backgrounds and even, yep, math assignments.

A few of the students' parents decided to let the actor know what was going on in his name. So, they composed a letter to Goldblum's publicist and shared some of the class's work.

"One of the biggest challenges in a virtual environment is building community and fostering relationships," parent Tara Scheer wrote in the letter to Goldblum. "As funny as it sounds, Jeff Goldblum has brought this class together in a way no one could have imagined."

The "Jurassic Park" star took notice and sent the kids a special shoutout via voice message and Instagram.

"Absolutely humbled and thrilled to be a seed of creative inspiration for a fifth grade class at Bristol Elementary School in Webster Groves, Missouri, who has been meeting virtually during the pandemic," Goldblum wrote in his post. "Thank you to these valiant and heroic students for honoring our shared enthusiasms so fantastically!"

Sheer's letter pointed out that, before this year, Max was quiet and shy and rarely participated in class. Now, as the resident Goldblum expert, Max is blossoming.

Brown told the Times she's still in awe that the actor responded to the class.

"I hope they can walk away from this crazy year with lasting memories," she said. "I have been so honored and lucky to be a part of this journey and to watch a little light come into the world for these students. Jeff definitely gained some fans for life!"

Chris Pastrick is a Tribune-Review digital producer. You can contact Chris at 412-320-7898, cpastrick@triblive.com or via Twitter .