The Museum Educators at the Creative Discovery Museum create fun, playful and positive experiences through interactions and engagement with guests. So if you’ve ever visited our Museum, you have probably seen Roman Penney leading a dance party with his ukulele, helping out visitors in the exhibits or dressed up as Jack Frost during Snow Day. But I think it’s time we all get to know him a little bit better!
What does your role as an ME entail at the Museum? I’ve been a Museum Educator since August 2014. And as I like to say, being an ME means I do anything and everything. Some days I’m a teacher. Some days I’m an entertainer. Some days I’m helping out with custodial duties.
Do you have a favorite exhibit? Everything is my favorite. I love it all. I like Performing Arts Gallery because I’m a musician. It allows me to go play music with visitors. Music has been with me my whole life. I’ve played bass for 16 years, piano for about 9 and ukulele for 8 years.
You work with families every day that you’re here. What part of their Museum experience stands out to you the most? The Museum gives children and adults a chance to be kids together. Sometimes kids forget to be kids. So it’s great that they can come here and be a kid. And that doesn’t mean to be chaotic and wild. But they can come experience the excitement of learning something new. The simplest things are sometimes the most fun. And as we get older we lose that,especially in this world when things are changing all the time.
When you aren’t at the Museum, what do you like to do? I’m currently in college studying history. When I graduate, I’ll be the first in my family to do so. I like to do martial arts. I practice a style of Chinese Kung Fu called Bai Mei and I’ve been doing that for six years. Sometimes I lead Dungeons and Dragons with co-workers from the Museum. It’s a lot of fun. It’s a game of the imagination where you go on quests and adventures with other characters.
With The Amazing Castle Exhibit on display at the Museum until January 2 along with your interest in Dungeons and Dragons, what would your role be if you could go back to medieval times? I would be a monk or the King’s right-hand man. They are very different people, but I guess they are the extreme sides of my personality. I’m good with people. One extreme would be using that quality for power. The other would be a man who likes to help others.
What’s a fun fact about you that people may not know? Both sides of my family have been in Tennessee since it became a state in 1796.
And as your parents would ask, what do you want to be when you grow up? Well, I never plan on growing up so I’m still figuring that out.