The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

Staff Profile: Alyssa Lu ‘catalyzes’ interest in chemistry

Alyssa+Lu+explains+the+periodic+table+to+her+class.+She+teaches+six+periods+of+science.+The+most+rewarding+thing+about+being+a+teacher+is+when+students+make+a+connection+or+are+excited+about+science%2C+Lu+said.+
Isabelle Ling
Alyssa Lu explains the periodic table to her class. She teaches six periods of science. “The most rewarding thing about being a teacher is when students make a connection or are excited about science,” Lu said.

Since beginning college, Alyssa Lu knew she wanted to pursue a career in the STEM field, and through participating in programs, also learned of her love for education. 

“While at Santa Clara University, I worked with a program called America Reads. I worked at the school across the street, and I really enjoyed it,” Lu said. 

Lu dabbled in various fields of science before eventually deciding to become a science teacher.

“I always thought I was going into biotech because I love science. I did a bunch of internships throughout college. Throughout those internships, I realized that I don’t really like biotechnology that much. Then, I kind of put together my love of science and working with kids,” Lu said. 

Her first teaching job was at Westborough Middle School in San Francisco. However, Lu ultimately chose to become a high school teacher because of higher interest in learning, which differs from middle school.

“While I was teaching middle school, there was no incentive to pass the class. Whereas in high school, doing well matters, so there is more motivation,” Lu said. 

Despite teaching the same curriculum, Lu says new students always make the class exciting to teach.

“Even though I’m teaching the same material from year to year, the students are different. People think you’re doing the same thing over and over again, but you get a different round of students,” Lu said.  

Altogether, Lu teaches six periods of science, including biotechnology, chemistry, chemistry, and human biology. Out of all of them, she enjoys chemistry the most because of her past chemistry teachers. 

“I had really good teachers. I liked hands-on aspects of chemistry and that it does relate to your everyday life. You just have to think about it and make the connections. It puts things into perspective,” Lu said.

Besides teaching her students, Lu helps to advise other teachers, according to Carlmont chemistry teacher Michael O’Neall.

“I’ve definitely asked her a lot of advice on what she’s doing. I also like what she does and use it in my class,” O’Neall said. 

O’Neall says this is his first year teaching chemistry and Lu’s advice is very helpful in guiding his own curriculum, like labs. 

“Probably the biggest one she helped with is the Gas Laws Lab. We took from what she had and it went great,” O’Neall said. 

She is just a good, consistent, established teacher here at Carlmont and is really helpful, especially for someone coming into chemistry here. She is a teacher who already knows what she’s doing and is good at doing it.

— Mr. O'Neall

O’Neall says he respects Lu as a teacher and is thankful for her advice in his chemistry periods. 

“She is just a good, consistent, established teacher here at Carlmont and is really helpful, especially for someone coming into chemistry here. She is a teacher who already knows what she’s doing and is good at doing it,” O’Neall said. 

Lu’s students appreciate her knowledge and willingness to help as a teacher.

“She challenges me academically. Ms. Lu has so much knowledge in her brain and she knows a lot,” said Sophomore Natalie Nishikawa.

The class curriculum varies from day to day, maintaining an exciting environment for students.

“You never know what’s going to happen in that class. Every day is like a new surprise,” Nishikawa said.  

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About the Contributor
Isabelle Ling, Staff Writer
Isabelle Ling (Class of 2026) is a sophomore at Carlmont High School and this is her first year in journalism. Besides journalism, she plays golf on the school team and helps with JSA meetings. In her free time, she likes to spend time with her friends and family, read, and watch old movies.

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