This profile was developed for the American Museum of Natural History's Seminars on Science program -- online graduate-level professional development courses for K-12 educators. See the full course list.

Profile: Brian McKanna

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Brian demonstrates the "Magic Genie" demo in his lab (hydrogen peroxide rapidly decomposing into water and oxygen gas). ©AMNH

Brian McKanna teaches Chemistry and Physical Science at Lee High School in Wyoming, Mi. He holds a B.S. in Biology/Biochemistry from Hope College in Holland, Mi. While studying at Hope, he spent two summers researching insect pheromones at Michigan State University and a third summer researching spider taxonomy in the Great Smoky Mountains. Following his undergraduate science education, he earned M.Ed. from Aquinas College.

During the school year he can be found keeping busy coaching the high school’s Science Olympiad teams and advising students pursuing post-secondary studies in the sciences. In an attempt to stimulate interest in science, his students stage chemistry and physics demonstrations in the elementary and middle schools on holidays and other special occasions. A new interest of late has been the design and construction of catapults and trebuchets. On odd afternoons, he and his group of teenage “chuckers” can be found flinging objects of various size across the school’s football field. Brian and his wife, Trudy, are the proud parents of one inquisitive and precocious daughter, Ella.


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