Lulu Carpenter is a member of the Museum of Pop Culture’s Teacher Advisory Board (TAB), which helps MoPOP develop programs that meet the complex needs of modern classrooms. TAB members test new programming, receive free exclusive workshops, and influence the museum’s curriculum. Let's get to know Lulu!
Tell us a bit about yourself and what you teach!
Lulu: I love teaching middle schoolers! Before I taught middle school and designed the Performance and Media Arts program at Seattle Girls' School (SGS), I worked as a social worker and educator on human trafficking, intimate partner violence, and sexual violence. When I would go to parties in the past, people would cringe after I would respond to their question of 'What do you do?' I would state, post-cringe, 'I work on the education and prevention side of things' and attempt to tell them the joys of my work, including giving my "Hip-Hop Saved My Life" speech. They were not convinced and moved on to others to casually network with. When I go to parties and people attempt small talk, they still cringe when I state my occupation, but instead of telling the most horrific moment in their life or the life of someone else, they tell me their most cringe-worthy memories of middle school. I respond similarly, with compassion for their story, tell them a joyful moment of my work and why I am passionate about it, and also state 'My middle school students rock, they save my life every day in this horrible world and make me think that another world is possible.'
Why did you apply to be a part of MoPOP's Teacher Advisory Board?
Lulu: I applied to the Teacher Advisory Board at MoPOP because I loved their education team! They are engaging and worked in partnership with me when I brought my students on a field trip. They intentionally create content that my middle schoolers can engage with and asked for my feedback. I wanted to be part of their advisory team to create, experiment, and assess awesome curriculum and workshops that were innovative and centered on science-fiction, pop culture, and other "unassuming" parts of the past and present that shape our future by helping us imagine beyond the horror of yesterday and today, and instead bridge us into a future we can create.
How does MoPOP connect to your classroom content?
Lulu: MoPOP connects to all my classroom content from 5th to 8th grade as a Performance and Media Arts (PMA) teacher. Mostly it connects to "fantastical character" creating and building through their in-class workshops and their science-fiction exhibitions. I was able to create a Comic-Con Culmination presentation with my 5th graders, because of my visit to MoPOP's Teacher Professional Development and our ensuing field trip. For 6th grade, we make fanciful masks that we create into science-fiction characters and then write parables. We also investigate pop culture by creating our own music videos and films in 7th and 8th grade.
What is your favorite memory with MoPOP?
Lulu: My favorite memory is playing interactive games at a Professional Development workshop that incorporated superhero power moves, including the battle of good vs. evil. I utilized this in my 5th grade classroom to launch our unit with theme songs and everything.
What’s your pop culture passion?
Lulu: My pop culture passion is Avatar: The Last Airbender and Star Wars. I have dressed up like Appa for Geek Girl Con, and I have a lightsaber as a hall pass to the bathroom. #WaterTribe #AppaLove #StarWarsAlsoSavedMyLife #IamdramaticbutIampaidtobeso
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