#WhyIChoseEducation: ‘If We Want People to Learn About Nanotechnology, Then What We Need is Teachers Who are Excited About It,’ Says Mark McLean ‘17

This is part of a monthly “Why I Chose Education” series in which NC State College of Education alumni, students, faculty and staff share why they chose education.

Education was a second career choice for Mark Mclean ’17, but after years of working with passionate scientists and educators to create content for medical schools, he decided it was time for a change. He enrolled in the NC State College of Education and in 2017 graduated with a bachelor’s in science education.

“If we want to change the world, if we want people to go into science, if we want people to learn about nanotechnology, then what we need is teachers who are excited about it,” said McLean, who is now a science and STEM educator at Ravenscroft School.

Last summer, his excitement for science led him to the Research Triangle Nanotechnology Network’s Research Experience for Teachers (RTNN RET) program.

The RTNN RET program puts local teachers in nanotechnology labs at NC State University, Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. There, they participate in nanotechnology research, so they can share what they learn with their students.

While the program was canceled this summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic, take a look back at what our alumnus was able to experience last year.